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NBC News has learned of ONE MORE reason Donald Trump wanted Kirstjen Nielsen to submit her head on a platter (in triplicate) yesterday. In addition to his general impression that Nielsen simply wasn't cruel enough, he was angry that she hadn't taken swift action to start separating migrant parents from their children again, only this time nice and legal-like, if you ignore the law and stuff. The plan for Family Separations 2.0, which had been floating around since at least October, was a top priority for Trump for months, according to "three U.S. officials with knowledge of meetings at the White House."

Problem is, Nielsen kept explaining to Trump that the proposal is all illegal and stuff, and that pissed him off because he doesn't like people telling him he can't do things.


According to two of the sources, Nielsen told Trump that federal court orders prohibited the Department of Homeland Security from reinstating the policy, and that he would be reversing his own executive order from June that ended family separations.

OK, but reversing an executive order is easy! Trump can do that five times a day.

As we discussed in October, here's how the exciting new family separation policy, called "binary choice," would work. Instead of taking kids away from their parents at the border, this new version of family separation would offer migrant families TWO shitty options!

Families would be held together in custody for up to twenty days [...] after which parents would have to decide which shit sandwich to eat. Behind Prison Door Number One, they could be imprisoned with their kids until the family's immigration case is finally decided, which could take months, or, more likely, years. Or they could choose Prison Door Number Two: The parents would be detained for however many months or years, but the kids would be taken away to a shelter (or maybe a tent city) run by Health and Human Services, after which relatives or some other foster guardian could seek custody of the kids. Then if the parents win their immigration case, they might someday see their kids again. Isn't that much nicer? This way, migrants seeking asylum from gangs and violence will get an active choice in how the US government dehumanizes them.

Also, all immigrant mothers will be renamed "Sophie," regardless of whether they even get the reference.

Mind you, that "choice" to be detained together as a family would depend on getting rid of that troublesome Flores settlement, which prohibits the government from detaining migrant kids more than 20 days. Trump keeps thinking maybe he could make it go away by waving a magic rule change at the Federal Register, but sorry, Flores is still the law. Yeesh, Kris Kobach said on teevee they can get rid of Flores with one weird trick, so why didn't Nielsen just do it? Answer: Because she doesn't love Donald Trump enough.

One "senior administration official" also said Trump is "convinced that family separation has been the most effective policy at deterring large numbers of asylum-seekers," although the numbers for months following the "zero tolerance" policy don't actually support any such conclusion.

But maybe the new guy can make it happen, according to NBC:

Three U.S. officials said that Kevin McAleenan, the head of Customs and Border Patrol who is expected to take over as acting DHS secretary, has not ruled out family separation as an option.

Again, even if the administration does try to change federal rules to make Flores vanish in a puff of administrative hocus-pocus, the litigation over such a fundamental change in immigration law would likely go on for the rest of Trump's term. But at least now he has a nice compliant man to say "Yes, sir!" instead of a lady who keeps talking about "the law." Until McAleenan starts letting "the law" get in his way, too. As Yr Wonkette noted this morning, McAleenan doesn't like the law limiting the detention of children to 20 days, but he also recognizes it's the law.

Fortunately, Donald Trump is already taking swift action, by yelling at "Judge Flores," so that's great:

Just wait til Trump gets hold of Judge Wade to give him or her what for about allowing abortion.

[NBC News / Vox / Politifact]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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