Vile intent + Trump’s incompetent government + Fox News = unspeakable tragedy.
That’s the equation for the latest developments in the family separation saga and Trump’s related immigration demagoguery.
More Kidnapped Kids? Now?
In an Oct. 25 court filing, the Department of Health and Human Services admitted that it has “found” another 14 kids who should be recategorized as “possible children” separated from their parents at the border. According to Trump’s government, the total number has now risen from 2,654 to 2,668.
If Democrats gain control of just a single house of Congress, a real investigation will reveal the truth. When that happens, expect that number to go up.
Reunification Is No Panacea
Of course, reunification after weeks or months of separation doesn’t undo the damage. For example, after a three-month separation from her parents, a two-year-old girl from Honduras appeared in a federal immigration court where an attorney on her behalf requested voluntary return to her home country.
Two weeks later, she and seven other separated children arrived at San Pedro Sula airport. She greeted her mother with a blank stare. No smile of recognition. Nothing.
There Is No Bottom, But There Is Violence
Meanwhile, Trump politicizes the immigration issue, calling the upcoming election the “caravan-Kavanaugh” midterms. He’s sending thousands of US troops to the southern border to deal with what he describes as an “invasion” by refugees. To do what, exactly? The answer: Serve as props in Trump’s latest publicity stunt.
Under the Posse Comitatus Act, it’s unlawful to deploy the US military for domestic law enforcement purposes. (As for Trump’s assertion that he’ll issue an executive order declaring that children of illegal immigrants born in the US are not citizens, ignore him. The US Constitution’s 14th Amendment stands in his way.)
Trump supporters at Fox & Friends have followed his lead, describing the threat as migrants who may be carrying “diseases.” “They will infect Americans,” Fox’s guests proclaim, rattling off an absurd list: leprosy (almost zero cases in the migrants’ South American countries of origin), smallpox (no evidence of that anywhere in the world), and tuberculosis (the US already has cases of those).
When Fake News Is Really Fake — and Deadly
In the deranged mind of the Pittsburgh synagogue killer, Trump’s inflammatory rhetoric intersected with his immigration policy to produce tragic consequences. On social media, Robert Bowers had railed against the “migrant caravan” and the role of Jews in bringing immigrants to America. And then he gunned down 11 unarmed Jews during a worship service.
Where would Bowers get such a nonsensical idea? Try Fox News. For weeks, the “Jews funding migrant caravan” theme has been a network staple. In particular, Fox has joined Alex Jones’ Infowars and other far-right voices linking George Soros, a prominent Jew, to the caravan.
Only two days before the synagogue attack, Fox News’ Lou Hobbs interviewed Chris Farrell, Judicial Watch’s director of investigations and research. Farrell talked about the migrant caravan, saying, “A lot of these folks have affiliates that are getting money from the Soros-occupied State Department.”
Hours after the shooting, Fox rebroadcast the interview.
In a tweet, Dobbs — who attacks Soros regularly — had also ridiculed news coverage of pipe bombs sent to 14 prominent Trump critics: “Fake news – Fake bombs. Who could possibly benefit by so much fakery?” When a fanatical Trump supporter became the prime suspect in that attack, Dobbs deleted the tweet.
Where else might Bowers have heard the lies that motivated him? Try congressional Republicans. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) questioned whether Soros was funding the caravan; Fox News dutifully reported it.
And last week, George Soros was one of the pipe-bomber’s intended victims.
Vote. On November 6, just vote.