Vile. Vicious. Cruel. Un-American. Un-Christian. In-humane. Words outpouring in the media since April 17 of this year to describe the deliberate separation of children from parents on the US/Mexico border. On that date a zero tolerance policy requiring the prosecution of unauthorized border crossers was implemented by the Department of Homeland Security of the United States of America.
President Trump himself says his own administration’s policy is one he “hates”. Attorney General Jeff Sessions quotes the Bible (ripping a verse out of context) in its defense (Romans 13). Scholars note that the same text Sessions butchers was employed by slave owners to justify their legal right to separate children from their parents along with shackling, beating, caging, torturing and lynching insubordinates, runaways and the randomly unlucky.
President Trump defends the separation of children from their parents as a bargaining chip to persuade Democrats to commit funds to his long sought wall.
Nationwide 2,000 minors were taken from their parents from April 19 through May 31, according to figures from the Department of Homeland Security. The Border Patrol chief for the Rio Grande Valley predicts that number will double as the zero tolerance policy ramps up.
In slave times, the vast majority of “Evangelical Christian” clergy preached support for slave owners from thousands of pulpits, Sunday after Sunday and at mid week services Wednesday evenings. They endorsed the spilling of Southern blood to save the slavocracy in the name of the Prince of Peace, their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. This deformed (demonic?) version of Christianity didn’t die with them or the defeat of their cause. It lives on in the Scripture contorting Jeff Sessions, his many supporters and the legions of the complicit in the United States of America.
With the Democrat’s Senate majority in peril, Team Obama has rolled the dice in favor of doing nothing. Struggling to exit a political box of his own making, the President backed away from decisive executive action on immigrant detention and deportation in favor of no action at all. As most of the media would have it, he “punted”.
While his punt is designed to cool out some of the intensity of his political opponents, the real world consequences may overwhelm his stated intentions.
In the event Democrats lose the Senate, Team Obama’s immigration audible will have sown confusion among his own ranks. In the ramped up bite back by a unified Republican Congress, Team Obama, now in disarray, will confront a more formidable obstacle than his current predicament presents. Aggressive unilateral actions on behalf of undocumented families and children delivered in the face of a political defeat that includes loss of the Senate is a more perilous environment than the current standoff reflected in a divided Congress.
In point of fact, having vaguely referenced his next moves in advance without actually making them he has set up a referendum on his intentions, real or fictitious. Like a quarterback tipping his opponents to his next play, Team Obama seems poised to activate a bone crushing prevent defense.
Team Obama has created precisely the conditions in which real obstructive action by a unified, Republican controlled Congress becomes both possible and likely. If Republicans ascend to power in the Senate (and comfortably hold the House as universally predicted), a full blown constitutional crisis becomes possible when and if the President stays true to his most recent declarations.
Before his punt, President Obama was positioned to load up and take his best shot via executive action. That time has come and, if the Republicans capture the Senate, gone. Tens of thousands of immigrant families and the well being of the nation as a whole will suffer the consequences.
Frank C. Pierson, Jr.
Frank Pierson retired after forty years of work with the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF) as a professional organizer. He began his career in 1971 in Chicago, moved to Queens, New York City and migrated west to work in Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada and Colorado. He resides with his wife, Mary Ellen Kazda, in Oracle, Arizona. He may be reached at email@example.com