The firestorm around the new Trump policy of separating families at the borders continued to rage yesterday, gaining even greater momentum.  Trump’s DHS secretary Nielsen spoke at the daily White House press briefing and only furthered the outrage as she parroted administration lies to the press.

Here’s what you need to know about this situation:

The Trump Administration says they are following the law by forcing families apart.  But the law they cite, passed in 2008, only applies to unaccompanied minors, not families.  So the Trump claim that they must follow the law is false.  Family separation is a policy that the Trump Administration has recently decided to enact for the purpose of deterring immigrants, not a law they are obligated to follow.

The Trump Administration claims that the family separations are the fault of the Democrats.  But the 2008 law they cite as evidence does not apply to families, only unaccompanied minors.  Trump could change this policy with a phone call, and so could AG Sessions.  It is their policy, it is their responsibility.  But Trump continues to lie about how the situation must be solved, by legislation.  It’s a bold-faced lie that he keeps repeating.

Trump and his minions always mention the threat of violence when talking about immigrants. It’s a dishonest rhetorical framing device that borders on propaganda.  They constantly push the fearmongering deception that our nation is somehow in danger from these refugees and asylum seekers, but the vast majority of people coming to the border are fleeing lethal violence and starvation in their home countries.  They are not criminals, nor are they gang members.  Statistics show that they don’t bring crime with them when they enter the country.  And statistics show that immigrants, including unregistered immigrants, exhibit a lower level of long-term criminality than citizens born here.

The Trump Administration started this policy a few months ago.  If they were so concerned with following the law, they would have started the policy when they first took office.  Previously, these immigrants were processed and allowed to stay in our country with their children pending a hearing on their status.  They were required to wear an ankle bracelet so they wouldn’t fall off the radar, although some get rid of their bracelets.  But this policy is a calculated bet by Trump to throw red-meat to his base.  He believes that his base hates all immigrants and all immigration.  And he may be right that many of them do.  But many more moderates and independents are horrified by this policy.  If Trump thinks this policy will help his base turnout in the midterms, he risks being horribly wrong.

Rep John Faso has failed to raise his voice against this immoral policy, which is not a surprise.  He doesn’t have the courage to stand up to Trump, fearing that the racists and bigots who support him will be angered. He’s adopting the Trump strategy of increasing his appeal to the radical fringe instead of tacking to the center.  Let’s keep working to Fire Feckless Faso and prove Trump wrong about turnout in the Midterms.

If you haven’t decided who you are going to vote for in the NY-19 primary, tonight is one of your last chances to meet all of the candidates in one place.  Hudson Valley Strong is holding a candidate meet & greet in Rhinebeck tonight at 6:30 at Rhinebeck Town Hall, 80 Market Street.

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