Trump Signs Executive Order on Immigration, as Threatened

Donald Trump has signed an executive order on immigration to "keep the families together," despite the fact that he is retaining his aggressively cruel "zero tolerance" policy at the southern border.
Signing the order in the Oval Office, Mr. Trump told reporters in the room that the administration would still continue its "zero tolerance" policy while still solving the issue of family separation.

"We are keeping families together and this will solve that problem. At the time we are keeping a very powerful border and it continues to be a zero tolerance, we have zero tolerance for people that enter our country illegally," Mr. Trump said.

He added, "I didn't like sight or the feeling of families being separated it's a problem that's gone on for many years, too many administrations." He said that no one has had the "political courage" to take care of the issue which he claims has gone on for over 60 years.

The president added that the move will be compassionate but will also be "equally tough if not tougher."

"You're going to have a lot of happy people," he remarked as he signed the order.
What a reprehensible person he is. Happy people. Fucking hell.

Yesterday, I warned that protesting the "zero tolerance" policy with an almost exclusive focus on families would be "exploited and misappropriated in defense of internment: Now it will be an act of compassion to 'keep families together' in indefinite detention."

I didn't expect that it would happen 24 hours later.

But so it has.

We don't yet know the specific details of what he signed, because the text hasn't been made publicly available as of this writing. So, right now, it's only a bunch of hysterical Cassandras who are saying that the order will establish prison camps — and we can be safely ignored as long as the text remains concealed.

Meanwhile, Trump is getting terrific headlines like this beauty at CNN:

screen cap of headline at CNN reading: Trump reverses course, signs order to keep families together

By the time the text is made public, and all the members of the press who intractably remain inexplicably inclined to give Trump undeserved benefit of the doubt finally catch up, the narrative will have already taken hold: Trump is a hero who fixed the immigration law that was forcing Border Patrol to separate families.

None of that is true. None of it.

The truth is that Donald Trump, with the aid of the nativist scum in his administration and the complicit media, created a problem with the explicit intent of provoking protest that he could abuse to make himself look heroic while actually making a historically significant white supremacist move that will be a lasting shame on this nation.

UPDATE: And here's the text, now that the immediate headlines have all been published: Affording Congress an Opportunity to Address Family Separation.

UPDATE 2: A couple of notes now that I've had a chance to read the EO, which is exactly as awful as I'd feared:

1. It appears to upgrade border crossing from a civil violation to a criminal violation: "When an alien enters or attempts to enter the country anywhere else, that alien has committed at least the crime of improper entry."

2. If the administration plans to prosecute adults for a criminal violation, which the EO stiplates "is subject to a fine or imprisonment," children in convicted adults' care will still be forcibly separated from them, unless the children are imprisoned with their adult guardians for the duration of their sentences.

3. The EO attempts to codify this lie into the official record: "It is unfortunate that Congress's failure to act and court orders have put the Administration in the position of separating alien families to effectively enforce the law."

4. The detention policy laid out by the order reads thus (emphases mine):
Sec. 3. Temporary Detention Policy for Families Entering this Country Illegally.
(a) The Secretary of Homeland Security (Secretary), shall, to the extent permitted by law and subject to the availability of appropriations, maintain custody of alien families during the pendency of any criminal improper entry or immigration proceedings involving their members.

(b) The Secretary shall not, however, detain an alien family together when there is a concern that detention of an alien child with the child's alien parent would pose a risk to the child's welfare.

(c) The Secretary of Defense shall take all legally available measures to provide to the Secretary, upon request, any existing facilities available for the housing and care of alien families, and shall construct such facilities if necessary and consistent with law. The Secretary, to the extent permitted by law, shall be responsible for reimbursement for the use of these facilities.

(d) Heads of executive departments and agencies shall, to the extent consistent with law, make available to the Secretary, for the housing and care of alien families pending court proceedings for improper entry, any facilities that are appropriate for such purposes. The Secretary, to the extent permitted by law, shall be responsible for reimbursement for the use of these facilities.

(e) The Attorney General shall promptly file a request with the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California to modify the Settlement Agreement in Flores v. Sessions, CV 85-4544 ("Flores settlement"), in a manner that would permit the Secretary, under present resource constraints, to detain alien families together throughout the pendency of criminal proceedings for improper entry or any removal or other immigration proceedings.
So, this section of the EO establishes that detained immigrants and refugees are to be held by the Department of Homeland Security; that the Defense Department should provide military facilities for the purposes of holding detained immigrants and refugees, or build them if necessary; and that the administration will be making a court filing to subvert the Flores consent decree, which holds that children can be detained for only 20 days, thus allowing the indefinite detention of children while their parents await trial for the newly-elevated "criminal improper entry."

This is utterly horrendous.

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