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The forcible separation of parents and children for “months or longer” under any circumstances, even for illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexican border, would have to rank high in the annals of cruelty and heartlessness. As Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced recently, the U.S. now has just such a “zero tolerance” policy at that border. No more “smuggling” (as the AG put it) of children into this country, though we’re largely talking about parents and kids, even toddlers, fleeing grim violence in their homelands. The Trump administration considers such a stance a “deterrence policy,” though — typical of the Trump era — it’s based on a false statistic. Such separations have, in fact, been going on in a less official fashion since the administration took office. And don’t even blame Jeff Sessions for the policy. We now know that the urge to rip children out of the arms of their parents comes directly from the White House, from the heart, such as it is, of one Donald J. Trump.

As Michael Shear and Nicole Perlroth reported in the New York Times recently, a presidential rant at a cabinet meeting against the head of the Department of Homeland Security, Kirstjen Nielsen, that almost caused her to resign, was in part over this very matter:

“One persistent issue has been Mr. Trump’s belief that Ms. Nielsen and other officials in the department were resisting his direction that parents be separated from their children when families cross illegally into the United States, several officials said. The president and his aides in the White House had been pushing a family separation policy for weeks as a way of deterring families from trying to cross the border illegally.”

TomDispatch regular Karen Greenberg has already written for this site on the staggering numbers of children displaced by Washington’s wars across the Greater Middle East and Africa, who are now, of course, denied any hope of sanctuary here (another kind of zero-tolerance stance of the Trump era). Today, however, she focuses on a different kind of Trumpian separation policy, one directed at divorcing us from the very language we speak, the words we normally use to describe reality, which are now to be officially banished to the borderlands of our consciousness.

(Republished from TomDispatch by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Donald Trump, Immigration 
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  1. The forcible separation of parents and children for “months or longer”…

    The parents are quite free to bring the children along, home to the one country in which both parent and child hold citizenship.

    So if anyone makes the separation “forcible”, it’s the parent.

    This argument ranks in stupidity (or duplicity) with the “invader” case for aborting the fetus’s sustenance.

  2. “…the urge to rip children out of the arms of their parents comes directly from the White House, from the heart, such as it is, of one Donald J. Trump.”

    This is rubbish. If anything, Trump has been itching to go all bleeding heart to do something for the kiddies.

  3. Yeah.. let’s stop separating children from criminal parents in general. Cause it’s cruel.

  4. If a criminal family of adults and minors broke in and invaded your home, even if claiming some sob story about violence in their own home, I suppose you’d let them sleep in your bed, rather than call the cops and have the family separated, correct?

    What purpose do the walls and locks on your house serve? Are you as heartless and cruel and undemocratic as you judge Trump?

  5. MarkinLA says:

    fleeing grim violence in their homelands.

    Didn’t have to read any further to realize this was worthless BS.

    So the US has to take anybody in who claims to be “fleeing grim violence”.

  6. Tom Engelhardt should be shot.

  7. J1234 says:

    This guy’s worthless. I guess the Unz Review wants all different perspectives to be represented at their site. This would qualify as the stupid perspective.

    Children are separated from parents who commit crimes all the time in our culture. And often even from parents who don’t commit crimes.

  8. Jason Liu says:

    Makes me wish Sessions actually is dismantling democracy instead of whatever the hell he’s doing

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