The concept of Republicans being the “family values” party was proven to be a hypocritical pile of horse manure-laden propaganda with White House Chief of Staff John Kelly’s comments on the Trump administration’s latest “zero tolerance” policy on illegal immigrants.
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Kelly was asked on NPR about the policy announced on May 7 by Attorney General Jeff Sessions that calls for the arrest and prosecution of all immigrants who cross the border without proper permissions and the separation of children from their parents while they are in prison awaiting trial.
Children who are taken from their parents would be put under supervision of the U.S. Health and Human Services Department, Sessions announced.
NPR’s John Burnett asked Kelly about the policy, noting that “people say that’s cruel and heartless to take a mother away from her children.”
“I wouldn’t put it quite that way,” Kelly responded. “The children will be taken care of — put into foster care or whatever. But the big point is they elected to come illegally into the United States and this is a technique that no one hopes will be used extensively or for very long.”
Treating children like disposable commodities and separating them from their parents is hardly demonstrating a respect for the sanctity of the family unit that the Republicans profess in their cynical marketing to the pro-life evangelical community.
While the announcement was at least partially intended as a scare tactic to prevent families from even trying to enter the country illegally, even Kelly was forced to admit that:
“the vast majority of the people that move illegally into United States are not bad people. They’re not criminals. They’re not MS-13.”
Unfortunately, Kelly didn’t stop with that admission, but went on to espouse an immigration standard that would have prevented the ancestors of the majority of Americans descended from immigrants from ever being allowed in the U.S.
“But they’re also not people that would easily assimilate into the United States into our modern society,” Kelly claimed. “They’re overwhelmingly rural people in the countries they come from – fourth, fifth, sixth grade educations are kind of the norm. They don’t speak English, obviously that’s a big thing. They don’t speak English. They don’t integrate well, they don’t have skills. They’re not bad people. They’re coming here for a reason. And I sympathize with the reason. But the laws are the laws. But a big name of the game is deterrence.
John Kelly destroying the idea of the American Dream as a continuing framework for social and personal advancement is a sad sight to behold.
Congressional Hispanic Caucus chair Michelle Lujan Grisham blasted Kelly for his remarks as soon as she heard them.
“The chief of staff’s bigoted comments about immigrants seeking refuge are a slap in the face to the generations of people who have come from foreign lands to contribute to the richness of our nation,” Lujan Grisham said in a statement.
My maternal grandfather was a goatherd in a small Italian village before he immigrated to America. He arrived on these shores with few skills and little-to-no English vocabulary. He became a shoeshine boy when he first came to New York and eventually mustered the resources to open a bar and grill in The Bronx.
His story is similar to most of the “huddled masses yearning to be free” who came to America and built it into the nation it is today. Every time that a Trump administration official attacks immigrants they are attacking the very resources that have been the key to our success. Every time they break up a family they are negating the very values that the majority of the country hold.
Kelly’s comments bolster the selfishness and callousness that define the modern Republican party under Trump and should motivate every reader to do everything they can to remove this group of malicious devils from power in November’s midterms.
Follow Vinnie Longobardo on Twitter.