As tragic reports of Donald Trump’s barbaric family separation policy get traction in the media, Republicans are trying to figure out how they can feign hints of sympathy without actually fixing the problem. In that vein, they are entirely lying about a 1997 settlement in a case called Flores, which set forth minimum standards for detaining unaccompanied minors.
Just to be crystal clear about this: No other administration has interpreted the Flores settlement to mean that kids of parents seeking asylum in the United States must be separated from them. That is absolutely the new and twisted logic of the Trump administration alone. In fact, what they are doing is prosecuting these parents for crossing the border before their asylum claims can be processed.
Nonetheless, House Speaker Paul Ryan lied about Flores Thursday.
“This is because of a court ruling and so this, I do think ought to be addressed—we believe it should be addressed in immigration legislation.”
Ryan invoked that court ruling at least three times during a press conference with reporters. He’s wrong and he’s lying—there’s no two ways about it. Read the synopsis—it specifically pertains to “unaccompanied minors,” which these children are not. That is, until the Trump administration sends their parents to federal jail to await prosecution, at which point officials separate their children from them and then re-label those kids “unaccompanied.”
“We don’t want kids to be separated from their parents,” Ryan added.
Then quit lying, Mr. Speaker, because you are flat-out hiding behind a lie to justify this draconian policy. Same with Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, a supposed expert as chair of the Judiciary Committee.
Not only are Republicans lying, they’re setting up a scenario where if they by some miracle pass a broader immigration bill that includes a “fix,” they can blame Democrats in the Senate for blocking it. Remember, any GOP immigration bill that can pass on Republican votes alone will necessarily be so extreme, it will have almost zero chance of passing the Senate. Bottom line, if Republicans really wanted to stop these horrific separations, they would tell Trump and Session to quit this draconian policy.