It has been one of his most potent tactics ever since his ride down the Trump Tower escalator now more than two years ago, painting innocent immigrants as callous criminals and blaming his liberal foes for not doing all they allegedly could do to keep them out. Now he is going for the jugular. As there is a push to bring DACA back from the dead, the 45th president is using innocent children as mere pawns to construct talking points to save his political future.
The state of the GOP hangs in the balance as moderate conservatives in D.C. are siding with the Democrats in a push to allow children of undocumented immigrants to have a two-year grace period to become legal citizens. To counter this move Trump went to the people. He wrote on Twitter Tuesday morning:
Separating families at the Border is the fault of bad legislation passed by the Democrats. Border Security laws should be changed but the Dems can’t get their act together! Started the Wall.
Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 5, 2018
And on May 26 he posted:
Put pressure on the Democrats to end the horrible law that separates children from there parents once they cross the Border into the U.S. Catch and Release, Lottery and Chain must also go with it and we MUST continue building the WALL! DEMOCRATS ARE PROTECTING MS-13 THUGS.
Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 26, 2018
But there is no law requiring the government to separate undocumented immigrants from their parents, least of all one passed by Democrats. In reality children are getting separated from their families because of Trump’s own policies that call for every undocumented immigrant caught at the border to be prosecuted, causing families to be separated. Trump’s own Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III threatened to anyone who is thinking about crossing the border illegally: “If you smuggle illegal aliens across our border, then we will prosecute you. If you are smuggling a child, then we will prosecute you and that child will be separated from you as required by law.”
In referring to Trump’s tweet, David Leopold, the former president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, told CNN, “‘[Trump] throws out a lie it is an intentional lie, to get the media and commentators focused on something that isn’t true and his base believes it.”
Advocates for illegal immigrants aren’t buying Trump’s spin. His track record shows he doesn’t champion immigration. You have a purposeful abuse of children for political gain,” Leopold told CNN.
In response to Trump’s latest tweet, Leopold wrote:
The brutal separation of families at the border is all you. Taking children hostage for political purposes is what authoritarians do. #StopSeparatingFamilies #KeepFamiliesTogether https://t.co/QsjE1if91s
David Leopold (@DavidLeopold) June 5, 2018