Trump’s Separation Policy is a Cruel Failure

Photo TIME Magazine
JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Trump's policy of effectively kidnapping kids at the border by separating them from their parents isn't just morally reprehensible, it's also a big failure.

At times when they're not dishonestly blaming Democrats for the policy, Trump and his advisers say it's a deterrent intended to dissuade immigrants from crossing the border.

But did they really believe that when they drafted the policy? According to internal documents from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) obtained by CNN, yes. They thought this would accomplish something that hasn't been accomplished at all.

The documents, which refer to the effort as the "Prosecution Initiative," demonstrate that in early April, days after President Donald Trump announced he would send the National Guard to the border and after Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced his offices would prosecute all illegal crossings referred to the Justice Department, Homeland Security staff predicted that the deterrent effects of the policies would be visible quickly.

"The full impact of policy initiatives are not fully realized for 2-3 weeks following public messaging -- however, some migrants already underway may temporarily halt to determine the effects of the new policy," the document states.

In the time since the policy was implemented, border crossings have actually increased by 5 percent so, by the Trump regime's own measure, this policy is a big, stupid failure.

But they're not going to correct their course. They aren't going to admit it's a cruel failure. Trump isn't going to stop separating families just like he was never going to uphold the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Trump has turned this program into a referendum on himself now and his loyal, cult-like supporters will emulate anything he says or does.

This is at the bottom of the pile of immediate concerns, but federal officials who spoke to NBC News say the government is currently holding over 11,700 children and may hold as many as 30,000 by the end of August if the current rate of separation continues. I don't know what that's going to cost, but none of this is free. The Trump regime will likely end up spending hundreds of millions of dollars on this policy if not a billion before all is said and done.

You may call that ironic considering that anti-immigration hardliners say immigrants cost American citizens too much money. Trump's cruel policy will come at an enormous moral and financial cost.

  • katanahamon

    A tactic to get money for a useless wall, built by Rump’s cronies no doubt. Why separate families? It’s cruel, it’s very costly, it’s..oh what the hell. I’ve commented up and down the net today, what’s the use..We’ve allowed America to become a budding Nazi Germany. Exaggeration? Oh, did I forget to mention Rump’s approval rating is back up to tie his all time high?

  • David Greenberg

    Kathy Griffin was right to call out “Melanie” no matter what language she used. She’s trying to have her cake and eat it too. A true republican hypocrite.

  • muselet

    A sane administration would never have contemplated such a monstrous plan.

    A sane administration would have consulted with experts to determine what, if anything, would slow migration.

    A sane administration would have sought cooperation from other nations and international bodies.

    A sane administration would have been ready and willing to change its policies in response to real-world effects.

    A sane administration would not be using children as hostages in a particularly cruel game of chicken with the opposition political party.

    The Trump administration has done the exact opposite of what a sane administration would do.

    What does that tell us about the Trump administration?


  • Nefercat

    What is really horrifying is that the more people protest, now including the UN, the more trump will double down on his depraved and cruel kidnapping and torture of children and infants. How dare anyone criticize him and suggest that anything he does could possibly be less than perfect?

    He will NEVER be brought to understand and accept that his policy is wrong and cruel, let alone admit it. His horrendously damaged psyche is not capable of it. If anything he will demand that the CBP increase the number of kidnappings.

    How long will it take for people to be stopped on any street in the US, and have their children taken from them on the spot if they don’t carry proof of citizenship (because it is not required)? No different than what is happening now.

    When has trump ever admitted he was wrong about anything?

    Which buddies and corporate cronies of his are profiteering from infant imprisonment? How many children ripped from their parents’ arms and put into foster care or with “sponsors” are in reality going to be used as child labor, or play toys for pedophiles?

    How will these parents ever get their children back?

    • Draxiar

      I think he does know it’s cruel which is why he is trying to pin the policy on the Democrats.

      • That understanding has no bearing on his decision making, however. If he backs down now, he will look weak to his base and he will NEVER do that.

  • Victor the Crab

    But Drumpf, his bootlickers in his administration, and his sycophantic supporters across the country don’t give a fuck if it works as a deterrent. As long as it severly punishes “those people and their brats”, as well as cause a rainfall of “liburul teers”, they’ll consider it a success of orgasmic pleasure to their darken souls.

  • simpfan

    The deterrent excuse hasn’t ever made sense. How would these asylum seeking immigrants have known that the policy has changed? They have almost nothing and are fleeing for their lives. I’m guessing they didn’t have a chance to read press releases from the White House. No one was reading articles about this on their phone and thinking “well darn, I guess we’ll just stay put”.

  • Username1016

    Wait’ll kids start dying like flies because they’re being held in tents in the Texas desert in midsummer. Just makes you ashamed to be an American. (And yes, I’ve written a ton of postcards to legislators and I’m donating to the legal funds trying to help these kids, but jeez. I hope they all make it.)

  • Aynwrong

    I remember that for a time in the mid 2000s it was fashionable for Republican legislators and pundits to try and shame Democrats and liberals who didn’t support the invasion of Iraq as essentially being pro genocide due to Saddam’s chemical attacks against the Kurdish people. They were very concerned for human rights these Republicans were, you see. That always seemed very “Jonny come lately” to me and as far as I’m concerned Republican pundits, legislators and especially voters have proven me 100% right.

    This is a terror campaign. Plain and simple.

    • Badgerite

      I think it is also a campaign to desensitize the American public to this kind of blatant and intentional cruelty.
      Like his mocking of the disability of a handicapped person. If he had said in during the campaign that he planned to kiss the ass of Kim Jung Un, would his supporters have cheered? If he had said he planned to kiss the ass of the Saudi royals and then some, defund the Children’s Health Insurance Program, give tax cuts to billionaires, raise taxes on the middle class, let the infrastructure crumble, destroy Medicare and Social Security, and make sure gas prices go up, what would they have said? I think he is not only trying to desensitize the country to cruelty, I think he is trying to get the public to like it. It distracts from what he is actually doing. Which is betraying them and betraying the country. He is a POS, after all.