Malacandra.me

What human rights?

What human rights?

by digby

That's your looney tunes president today. Apparently he forgot about the fact that he's the one who ended DACA in the first place. Or that he went down to Puerto Rico and threw paper towels at people who had no drinking water.


Trump (or his Iran-bot) is tweeting non-stop about human rights in Iran over the past couple of days as if he's Gandhi. He's just using this as a way to troll the Iranian government for his own purposes, of course. This is not to say that the Iran protesters don't deserve our moral support. But this blunderbuss sanctimony coming from Trump is more likely to hurt their cause than help it.

Anyway, if Trump really cares about human rights here's a human right abuse he could personally do something about right now. But he won't. Because he's the one perpetrating it:

The boy was crying as federal agents ordered him into the government vehicle. Tell your mother goodbye, they said.

It was late October, and Blanca Vasquez and her 12-year-old son, Luis, had only been in the United States for a few hours. They had crossed the Rio Grande near El Paso, giving themselves up to Border Patrol agents to ask for asylum. A gang in El Salvador had murdered her husband, a military sergeant, and she said they were now after Luis.

For decades, hundreds of thousands of immigrant families from Central America, escaping gang violence and political persecution, have followed a similar path, relying on international treaties protecting those seeking asylum from being summarily turned away.

Vasquez figured she and Luis would be detained, or even released, while she fought for asylum. A 20-year-old federal settlement that bars the extended detention of migrant children would ensure they stayed together.

But that was then. This summer, the practice changed.

Under orders from President Donald Trump's administration, the federal government would begin broadly prosecuting parents who enter illegally, forcing the removal of their children. That enables the administration to detain parents until they are deported or win asylum, rather than freeing them with their children to wait for their cases in the backlogged civil immigration courts, a practice known as "catch and release" that Trump has vowed to end.

The possibility of being criminally prosecuted and separated from their children, the government argued, would deter Vasquez and other migrants from making the dangerous journey north.

But for Vasquez it was too late to turn back.

She was in federal prison. And her son Luis was, where?

No one would say.


Trump and his minions revel in this cruelty. We know this by his public rhetoric. In case you missed this during the break, in private, he's even worse:

Late to his own meeting and waving a sheet of numbers, President Trump stormed into the Oval Office one day in June, plainly enraged.

Five months before, Mr. Trump had dispatched federal officers to the nation’s airports to stop travelers from several Muslim countries from entering the United States in a dramatic demonstration of how he would deliver on his campaign promise to fortify the nation’s borders.

But so many foreigners had flooded into the country since January, he vented to his national security team, that it was making a mockery of his pledge. Friends were calling to say he looked like a fool, Mr. Trump said.

According to six officials who attended or were briefed about the meeting, Mr. Trump then began reading aloud from the document, which his domestic policy adviser, Stephen Miller, had given him just before the meeting. The document listed how many immigrants had received visas to enter the United States in 2017.

More than 2,500 were from Afghanistan, a terrorist haven, the president complained.

Haiti had sent 15,000 people. They “all have AIDS,” he grumbled, according to one person who attended the meeting and another person who was briefed about it by a different person who was there.

Forty thousand had come from Nigeria, Mr. Trump added. Once they had seen the United States, they would never “go back to their huts” in Africa, recalled the two officials, who asked for anonymity to discuss a sensitive conversation in the Oval Office.

As the meeting continued, John F. Kelly, then the secretary of homeland security, and Rex W. Tillerson, the secretary of state, tried to interject, explaining that many were short-term travelers making one-time visits. But as the president continued, Mr. Kelly and Mr. Miller turned their ire on Mr. Tillerson, blaming him for the influx of foreigners and prompting the secretary of state to throw up his arms in frustration. If he was so bad at his job, maybe he should stop issuing visas altogether, Mr. Tillerson fired back.

Tempers flared and Mr. Kelly asked that the room be cleared of staff members. But even after the door to the Oval Office was closed, aides could still hear the president berating his most senior advisers.


Isn't he a sweetheart? And look at General Kelly there, turning on Tillerson like a good little lapdog.

The article goes on to talk about his anger that his Muslim ban was thwarted and his alleged desire to help the DREAMers even though he wants that wall more than anything in the whole wide world and can't seem to make up his mind whether they really need to be able to live in the country that's the only home they've ever known.

Yet publicly, Mr. Trump has only employed the absolutist language that defined his campaign and has dominated his presidency.

After an Uzbek immigrant was arrested on suspicion of plowing a truck into a bicycle path in Lower Manhattan in October, killing eight people, the president seized on the episode.

Privately, in the Oval Office, the president expressed disbelief about the visa program that had admitted the suspect, confiding to a group of visiting senators that it was yet another piece of evidence that the United States’ immigration policies were “a joke.”

Even after a year of progress toward a country sealed off from foreign threats, the president still viewed the immigration system as plagued by complacency.

“We’re so politically correct,” he complained to reporters in the cabinet room, “that we’re afraid to do anything."


I'm not sure what more he wants to do. But don't forget that he strenuously advocated for mass deportations during the campaign and he's pretty much come out in favor of cutting off almost all legal immigration as Jeff Sessions has been arguing for years. Maybe he can figure out a way to stop all foreign visitation for pleasure or business too. You can't be too careful, amirite?

When a president is on record saying the things he's said about immigrants and in private talks about foreigners in racist terms you cannot take his talk of "caring" about anyone in another country seriously. When his government separates mothers and their children who are fleeing violence and treats them like criminals, any talk of human rights rings hollow.