Families torn apart: the anatomy of Trump’s immigration U-turn

 

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article titled “Families torn apart: the anatomy of Trump’s immigration U-turn” was written by David Smith in Washington, for theguardian.com on Saturday 23rd June 2018 15.30 Asia/Kolkata

Donald Trump’s election campaign was organised around hostility towards immigration. So it was little surprise when in May he introduced a “zero tolerance” policy insisting that all adults who cross the US-Mexico border illegally be prosecuted. The upshot, however, was that 2,300 children were separated from their parents. As photos of them in tears or in fenced cages provoked worldwide outrage, the president found himself increasingly isolated when even some of his most loyal lieutenants urged a change of course. After a few bewildering days, a man notorious for never backing down did just that – sort of.

17 June

The issue has been struggling for attention against issues like Donald Trump’s summit with Kim Jong-un. However, on Father’s Day it breaks through on America’s Sunday politics talk shows. Former first lady Laura Bush writes in the Washington Post that the zero tolerance policy is “cruel”, “immoral” and “breaks my heart”.

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18 June

Now it is rapidly snowballing into a full-blown political crisis. Images of children in cages dominate television as networks dispatch anchors and reporters to the border. ProPublica obtains a secret audio recording of detained children crying for their parents. Homeland Security secretary Kirstjen Nielsen struggles to defend the policy at a White House press briefing.

18 June

19 June

Bipartisan pressure is reaching a critical mass and there is condemnation from around the world, including the Pope and the UN. On evening cable news, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow breaks down in tears but Trump cheerleader Corey Lewandowski responds to a story about a 10-year-old girl with Down’s syndrome being taken from her mother and put in a cage by saying: “Womp womp.”

19 June

20 June

In a tactical retreat, Trump signs an executive order that will ostensibly end family separations at the border, although opponents criticise its vague language and warn that families can still be held in detention. The order makes no mention of whether families already separated will be reunited.

20 June

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Families torn apart: the anatomy of Trump's immigration U-turn - NORTH INDIA KALEIDOSCOPE

Rajesh Ahuja

I am a veteran journalist based in Chandigarh India.I joined the profession in June 1982 and worked as a Staff Reporter with the National Herald at Delhi till June 1986. I joined The Hindu at Delhi in 1986 as a Staff Reporter and was promoted as Special Correspondent in 1993 and transferred to Chandigarh. I left The Hindu in September 2012 and launched my own newspaper ventures including this news portal and a weekly newspaper NORTH INDIA KALEIDOSCOPE (currently temporarily suspended).