Donald Trump

Trump's Policy of Separating Immigrant Families Makes for a Contentious Father's Day: Reason Roundup

Plus: More evidence emerges that Harvard University discriminates against Asians.


Toya Sarno Jordan/REUTERS/Newscom

Critics of the Trump administration policy of separating children who enter the country illegally from their families continued to blast Republicans for failing to curtail this draconian measure. Actor John Legend tweeted "fuck you" at House Speaker Paul Ryan, who had posted a "Happy Father's Day" message on social media.

First Lady Melania Trump released a statement saying that she hates seeing children separated from their families and "hopes both sides of the aisle can finally come together to achieve successful immigration reform. She believes we need to be a country that follows all laws, but also a country that governs with heart." This remark drew a "fuck you" from Kathy Griffin (of course). Former First Lady Laura Bush also weighed in.

But according to President Trump, the whole mess is Democrats' fault, since they won't work with Republicans to pass new immigration legislation. "This is why we need more Republicans elected in November!" the president tweeted.

Between April 19 and May 31, at least 2,000 children were separated from their parents at the border. Contrary to what Attorney General Jeff Sessions and other Trump officials have claimed, this policy is not required by the law, according to the Volokh Conspiracy's Ilya Somin:

The Trump administration claims that their policy is required by the 1997 Flores court settlement. But that settlement in no way mandates family separation and detention of children away from their parents. To the contrary, it instructs federal officials to "place each detained minor in the least restrictive setting appropriate" and to release them to the custody of family or guardians "without unnecessary delay." The settlement also mandates that federal immigration officials must "treat, all minors in its custody with dignity, respect and special concern for their particular vulnerability as minors." Detaining children under harsh conditions, separated from their parents, is pretty obviously not "the least restrictive setting" possible, and it most definitely doesn't qualify as treating children with "dignity, respect and special concern for their particular vulnerability."

Sen. Susasn Collins (R–Maine) described the policy as traumatizing for the children and inconsistent with American values on CBS's Face the Nation on Sunday. Congressional Republicans have expressed willingness to axe this "zero tolerance" approach, but only in exchange for increased funding for border security, an end to the diversity visa lottery, and several other things.

Meanwhile, Breitbart thinks it was wrong to describe the children as being kept in cages—rather, they are being held in "chain-link holding areas."


Harvard University admissions officials consistently gave Asian American applicants low marks in the subjective "personality" category—a tactic that concealed the university's efforts to discriminate against Asians in order to increase the number of black and Hispanic students admitted.

That's according to documents that were publicly revealed last week as part of a lawsuit against Harvard over its race-conscious admissions policies. (I previously wrote about the lawsuit here.)

Asian American applicants had higher standardized test scores, and more extracurricular activities, than other applicants, and alumni officials who interviewed them rated them among the highest applicants. But admissions officials who did not interview the applicants still found something in their applications that supposedly merited low marks on personality.

"It turns out that the suspicions of Asian-American alumni, students and applicants were right all along," Students for Fair Admissions, the group suing Harvard, said in a court document. "Harvard today engages in the same kind of discrimination and stereotyping that it used to justify quotas on Jewish applicants in the 1920s and 1930s."

Blogger Stephen Hsu has a useful breakdown of the info here. Long story short: when one looks at just the "fair" applicant pool—i.e., the applicant pool that doesn't include athletes and legacy admissions—it seems quite obvious that Asians are discriminated against.


Trump fired another shot in the trade war with China, and China is striking back:

The Trump administration on Friday escalated a trade war between the world's two largest economies, moving ahead with tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese goods and provoking an immediate tit-for-tat response from Beijing.

The president is battling on a global front, taking aim at allies and adversaries alike. The United States has levied global tariffs on metal imports that include those from Europe, Canada and Mexico, while threatening to tear up the North American Free Trade Agreement.

These countries are fighting back, drawing up retaliatory measures that go after products in Mr. Trump's political base. China's response was swift on Friday, focusing on $50 billion worth of American goods including beef, poultry, tobacco and cars.


  • Speaking of Harvard, journalist Salena Zito took a bunch of Ivy League students on trips into America's heartland to interact with Trump voters and learn something about the world beyond the quad.
  • Four #NeverTrump Republicans discuss the future of the Republican Party.
  • Comedian and AMC host Chris Hardwick has been accused of emotional and sexual abuse by a former girlfriend, who cited the #MeToo movement as one of her reasons for coming forward.
  • Embattled FBI agent Peter Strzok expressed willingness to testify before Congress.