Government officials are planning to move as many as 20,000 illegal immigrants to military bases in order to keep families together, per President Trump's recent executive order ending automatic separations of children and families. But the administration seems fairly confused as to how this will work, and wasn't able to confirm whether the 2,300 children who were already separated from their families will be reunited. According to The New York Times:
The 20,000 beds at bases in Texas and Arkansas would house "unaccompanied alien children," said a Pentagon spokesman, Lt. Col. Michael Andrews, although other federal agencies provided conflicting explanations about how the shelters would be used or who would be housed there.
It was unclear whether the military housing would also house the parents of migrant children in families that have been detained, and officials at the White House, Defense Department and Department of Health and Human Services said on Thursday they could not provide details.
The confusion is frustrating for folks inside the White House, Politico reports:
Frustrated White House aides said the damage created by the herky-jerky policy process is twofold. The president's sudden decision to sign the executive order threw off a planned House vote that could have set in motion the permanent legislative fix the White House has been seeking.
More importantly, these aides said, the original zero-tolerance policy championed by senior presidential adviser Stephen Miller was not run through the Domestic Policy Council, which Miller oversees. Some in the White House are also unclear whether the executive order is legal, which is something that would have been determined by a regular policy process.
The government has been referring to the existing accomodatons for children under 12 as "tender age" housing. Psychologists say that keeping such young kids away from their parents is emotionally scarring, according to The Huffington Post:
The consequences of this continued separation, especially for infants and toddlers, could be dire. Not only are they separated from their parents — who have loved and cared for them since birth — but shelter caretakers stepping into the void have reportedly been compelled to withhold physical touch from the children.
"We have to recognize that youth makes you more vulnerable. It does not protect you from an event like this," Ghosh Ippen said. "The No. 1 [priority] is to get these children back into the loving arms of a parent who can help them to calm down and regulate and who can really hold them as they express their feelings."
Reports from tender-age shelters that hold the youngest migrants reveal that there are toddlers melting down in distress but that the caregivers are not allowed to pick up, hold or hug the children. One shelter staffer quit after being forced to tell children separated from their parents that they couldn't hug one another.
Legendary conservative commentator Charles Krauthammer died yesterday after a battle with cancer. He was 68.
A frequent Fox News guest and Pulitzer Prize winner, Krauthammer was greatly admired. He survived a debilitating accident in his early 20s that left him paralyzed from the waist down, eventually becoming a psychiatrist, a speechwriter in the Carter administration, and then an editor at The New Republic. While his views moved rightward over time, he was widely respected in liberal circles. Real Clear Politics' A.B. Stoddard, a close friend who appeared alongside him on Fox for a decade, wrote:
Being on the "Special Report" panel every week with Charles, from May of 2009 until August of 2017, was an honor and a privilege. He had a singular presence there, a towering intellect free of arrogance. But alongside his warmth and calm and ease, Charles concentrated intently because he cared deeply about his contribution to the topic at hand and the words millions would hang on. To focus himself, sometimes he mumbled quietly in French before we went live.
I've disagreed with plenty of things Krauthammer has written and said over the years. Still, I've found myself wondering what he would have said about the Trump administration over the past few months, had he been in better health. RIP.
A San Francisco couple attempt to raise $1,500 on Facebook for immigrant children who were separated from their families by the U.S. government. In just four days, they raised $10 million. According to VICE:
"Most of us who donated today don't know each other, but we were brought together by a common sense of what is right and what is wrong," Charlotte Willner posted to the fundraiser's page on the night it was launched. "That clear moral commonality is what will sustain us. It transcends almost everything. It is an enduring sense of what America ought to be about."
Random people, coming together to voluntarily give money to needy children imprisoned by the government: sounds to me like a free market solution to a government failure.
- What on earth was First Lady Melania Trump thinking when she donned a jacket bearing the message—"I REALLY DON'T CARE. DO U?"—for her trip to visit immigrant children? A spokesperson maintained that she wasn't sending any kind of message, but… come on.
- ABC's Roseanne will return in the fall, minus Roseanne Barr. The network confirmed that it was working on a new sitcom featuring the various members of the Connor family who who aren't portrayed by insane racists.
- An inside look at how the Kirstjen Nielsen confrontation was organized.
- The feminist scholar who asked "Why Can't We Hate Men?" responds to criticism.
- The Federalist's Jesse Kelly throws a temper tantrum.