A Republican member of Congress retiring at the end of this year says President Trump’s executive order ending child separation is hypocritical.
The Hill’s Scott Wong recently spoke to Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Florida) to gauge her reaction to Trump’s announcement that he’ll sign an executive order ending his administration’s massively unpopular policy of separating families from their children at the border. According to Wong, Rep. Ros-Lehtinen said Trump had a “fragile ego” and was simply an “arsonist” trying to make himself out to be a “fireman.”
Rep. @RosLehtinen (R-FL) calls Trump the “arsonist” who now wants to play “fireman” by signing executive action ending family separations at the border.
“Anything to boost his fragile ego …” she said
— Scott Wong (@scottwongDC) June 20, 2018
President Trump made the announcement on Wednesday afternoon, just a day after Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen’s dinner at a Mexican restaurant was interrupted by activists who confronted her over the family separation policy. While details of the new policy have yet to be revealed, the administration’s “zero tolerance” policy of charging undocumented immigrants crossing the border with a criminal infraction (as opposed to a civil offense) will remain unchanged. Rather, families will be jailed together instead of separate.
Trump repeatedly tried to blame Democrats — who are the minority party in both houses of Congress and not in a position to unilaterally make legislative changes — for his administration’s own policy of taking children away from parents. Secretary Nielsen falsely stated on multiple occasions that the Trump administration didn’t have a policy of separating families (even though Attorney General Jeff Sessions formally announced it in May).
Trump’s announcement of the new executive order ending the separation of undocumented families comes on the same day as World Refugee Day. On his official Facebook page, former President Barack Obama commented on the plight of people fleeing instability and violence to seek a better life for them and their families, and pleaded for more humane treatment of refugees.
“After all, almost all of us were strangers once, too. Whether our families crossed the Atlantic, the Pacific, or the Rio Grande, we’re only here because this country welcomed them in, and taught them that to be an American is about something more than what we look like, how our last names sound, or the way we worship,” Obama wrote. “To be an American is to have a shared commitment to an ideal – that all of us are created equal, and all of us deserve the chance to become something better.”
Jake Shepherd is a freelance writer from Cleveland, Ohio. He enjoys poring through financial disclosure statements, spirited debate, and good scotch. He remains eternally optimistic about the Browns. Email him at jake.d.shepherd.21 (at) hotmail (dot) com.