Benevolent Trump Will Fix Crisis He Created By Sending Babies To Real Jail, With Mommy!
We are all now seeing news that Blessed Trump, Patron Saint Of Sociopathic Halfwits, has signed an executive order to "end" his policy of family separation, in hopes that America will stop yelling and Ivanka will stop mildly rolling her eyes like "OMG dad you're embarrassing me, all the other moms at shul keep calling me that thing Samantha Bee called me under their breath, it's not fair, Dad!"
It's a scam.
For one thing, no executive order is required. If Trump wanted to end this shit, he could call Attorney General Jefferson Butterscotch Sessions and say "86 the Nazi shit, Butterscotch!" He's not doing that, because he wants to keep his precious "zero tolerance" policy. So the new executive order ends the practice of putting babies in baby jail, so that families can be detained together, indefinitely.
The plan, as described by administration officials, would keep families together in federal custody while awaiting prosecution for illegal border crossings ...
Uh huh, and the net result of that is:
... potentially violating a 1997 court settlement limiting the duration of child detentions.
OHHHHHHHH! Court fight! Court fight! Just like the Muslim ban! Wheeeeeeeeeeee!
The Flores settlement is a consent decree from 1997 that says children detained at the border have to be released, and in 2016 the 9th Circuit court of appeals clarified it to mean kids can only be detained for 20 days, after which they must be placed in the "least restrictive" setting possible (ideally with mom and/or dad, or with relatives). In fact, it's part of what Sessions has been citing in arguing that BOY HOWDY, I'MA JUST FOLLOWIN' THE LAW! Because his new zero tolerance policy (which he and Trump chose) says ALL mommies and daddies have to be arrested and prosecuted, he's been claiming his hands are just plum tied and that he's been forced to send babies to special baby jails.
So if you "end family separation" but keep zero tolerance, thus keeping the kids with mommy and daddy indefinitely in detention centers, then you're violating Flores. The only way to not violate Flores would be to let the parents go too, which would be the "catch and release" thing Trump hates so much. (Of course, the "catch and release" thing involves the parents appearing in court to face charges later, which admittedly sometimes does not happen. But remember that a first time illegal border crossing is a FUCKING MISDEMEANOR.)
So basically, the Trump administration wants to thumb its nose at Flores and indefinitely detain mommies and daddies seeking asylum and babies over a FUCKING MISDEMEANOR. Indeed the order literally instructs the attorney general to beg the courts to say violating Flores is OK and babies can stay in jail with mommy and daddy for A LOT LONGER, because that's what the Trump administration is stomping its feet and clapping its hands for. Hey, maybe they can live in concentration camps, like one big happy family, at least until Trump can figure out a way to Finally Solve the whole problem! (Because, to be clear, these cases don't work themselves out in 20 days or less, especially with asylum seekers. Not by a long shot.)
The Trump administration fucking knows this.
Now, could courts overturn Flores? Sure, if you think the courts are going to say, "On second thought, indefinitely jailing children is FINE, even though this has been established law FORFUCKINGEVER." This is what immigrant-hating bigots really want, but it's not bloody likely.
Could Congress change it? Republicans in Congress sure want to! But at that point, we'd still be right back at SEE YOU FUCKERS IN COURT.
Josh Marshall sums it up at Talking Points Memo:
[W]hat will almost inevitably happen is that a court will step in, say you can't do that and then Trump will announce that the judge is forcing him to keep separating families.
BLAME THE JUDGES! AND THE DEMOCRATS!
Once a con artist, always a con artist.
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