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Horowitz: Trump Alone Can Fix His Inhumane Border Policy

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

 

Donald Trump

When Donald Trump accepted the Republican Party nomination in Philadelphia in the summer of 2016, referring to the problems facing the nation, he famously declared, “I alone can fix it.” There are very few things that even a president alone can fix. But one of them is President Trump’s own inhumane no tolerance policy at the border that has now separated nearly 2,000 children from their families.

Despite President Trump’s deceitful attempt to blame the growing humanitarian crisis on the border on a mythical law passed by Democrats, it is plain as day that it is the direct result of a policy put in place in April by the Trump Administration. As Trump aide Stephen Miller put it to Peter Baker of The New York Times, “It was a simple decision by the administration to have a zero tolerance policy for illegal entry, period. The message is that no one is exempt from immigration law.”

When faced with similar surges of migrants mainly fleeing desperate and dangerous conditions in Central America, crossing the border and applying for asylum, both Presidents Obama and Bush refused to institute the no tolerance policy approved by President Trump because they believed it was inhumane and un-American to separate children from their families.

As former First Lady Laura Bush wrote in an opinion piece in the Sunday Washington Post, “Our government should not be in the business of warehousing children in converted box stores or making plans to place them in tent cities in the desert outside of El Paso. These images are eerily reminiscent of the Japanese American internment camps of World War II, now considered to have been one of the most shameful episodes in U.S. history. We also know that this treatment inflicts trauma; interned Japanese have been two times as likely to suffer cardiovascular disease or die prematurely than those who were not interned.”

The Trump policy flows from his demagoguery on the immigration issue in which by painting with a broad brush, he attempts to define all undocumented immigrants as gang members or other types of dangerous criminals.  The facts are that immigrants commit less crime than people that are native born. While we need to adopt comprehensive immigration reform, the only real crisis on the border at this point is the one President Trump has created with his inhumane policy. The policy in its implementation has become even more inhumane because there was not the planning and forethought required to address the predictable surge in children that would need to be housed.

As Senator Lindsey Graham told CNN on Friday, “President Trump could stop this policy with a phone call.” It is time to make that phone call Mr. President.

 

Rob Horowitz is a strategic and communications consultant who provides general consulting, public relations, direct mail services and polling for national and state issue organizations, various non-profits and elected officials and candidates. He is an Adjunct Professor of Political Science at the University of Rhode Island.

 

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