On this Father’s Day, when many are protesting against President Trump’s policy of separating children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border, one surprising voice opposing Trump’s policy is his wife’s. Melania Trump, through a statement issued by her spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, according to NBC News, said that she “hates to see children separated from their families” and that in addition to being a country that follows the law, we also need to “govern with the heart”.
Melania Trump’s statement was careful in some ways, not to completely conflict with Trump, but including that she wants to see bipartisan work on immigration reform, but it is hard to miss that she “hates to see” what is happening as the result of Trump’s zero tolerance policy, and feels that compassion, the heart, is missing from the equation here. According to NBC News:
First lady Melania Trump uncharacteristically waded into a fierce debate around immigration on Sunday, pushing for bipartisan cooperation to end the separation of migrant children from their parents at the border. “Mrs. Trump hates to see children separated from their families and hopes both sides of the aisle can finally come together to achieve successful immigration reform,” according to a statement from her spokeswoman. “She believes we need to be a country that follows all laws, but also a country that governs with heart.”
President Trump has wrongly attempted to blame Democrats for his own policy and falsely, let’s just say that again, falsely claimed that the separating of children from their parents this way is the law. It is not the law. President Trump is lying about that in order to justify his actions and to try to gain leverage to get immigration reform that he wants, including $25 billion for his folly of a border wall.
According to NBC News:
The president has also repeatedly blamed Democrats opposed to his immigration reform proposal, falsely crediting an anti-trafficking law that passed unanimously in 2008 under President George W. Bush for the separations. The detention of children apart from their parents is a result of the policy mandated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and there is no law that requires family separation. As such, congressional action is not necessary to stop it. Sessions has said the intent is to eventually prosecute everyone who crosses the border illegally.
Attorney General and well-documented racist Jeff Sessions has gone so far as to try to use the Bible to justify his actions. That’s a problem on many fronts. First, no government official should be using religious reasoning for their state actions – that violates the separation of church and state that is a core principle of our democracy. Second, Sessions’s use of the Bible has horrified religious leaders who say that the Bible would never condone this family separation, and say that Sessions is misinterpreting the biblical passages he is using.
Melania Trump is right that “heart” is missing from this Trump administration policy, and from the dogged determination of Trump and Sessions to cling to this policy and to try to shift the blame to Democrats for their own misdeeds. Unfortunately, however, “heart” is not something we are likely to see emerging from this heartless, inhumane, racist, misogynist administration.