This afternoon, the president displayed his dangerous ignorance for the entire nation to see in a xenophobic attack on an innocent fifteen-year-old girl.
During today’s visit to the southern border, he raged against the court decisions that set the precedents for modern immigration laws and took aim against the judges who issued them in a dangerous and deeply disturbing attack on our independent judiciary.
He singled out the 1997 case of Reno vs. Flores, the settlement, which dictated that the government cannot keep children in detention for more than 20 days, must provide adequate care for them, and must minimize interactions with non-familial adults.
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The sexual humiliation of 15-year-old Guatemalan refugee Jenny Lisette Flores at the hands of Immigration and Naturalization Service agents after being detained at the border led to the lawsuit and eventually the codification of those rules into law — laws that have been unsuccessfully legally challenged and successfully completely ignored by the Trump team in their abhorrent efforts to separate immigrant children from their families.
But Trump doesn’t think immigrant children deserve to be cared for or protected, which is why he lashed out at “Judge Flores” this afternoon in a disgusting rant.
Trump “We’ve had some very bad court decisions. The Flores decision is a disaster, I have to tell you. Judge Flores, whoever you may be, that decision is a disaster for our country." As CNN has previously reported, Flores was a 15-year-old girl from El Salvador. via @maeganvaz
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) April 5, 2019
Trump at the border: "Judge Flores, whoever you may be, that decision is a disaster for our country."
Jenny Flores was the 15 year-old plaintiff from El Salvador in Flores v. Reno, that determined the standard for how migrant children must be treated in US custody-WHAT AN IDIOT. pic.twitter.com/iisrHnLfJ6
— Amee Vanderpool (@girlsreallyrule) April 5, 2019
One would think that Trump of all people would understand how to understand the titles of court cases, seeing as he’s been the defendant in literally thousands of them, but it appears that once again his mental wires got crossed in his urgency to smear asylum-seeking immigrants. He continued to do so throughout the day, later referring to them straight-up as “animals” in an appalling and dehumanizing attack on people desperately fleeing violence and instability in their home countries, much of which has its roots in US foreign policy.
— Mark Elliott (@markmobility) April 5, 2019
The Flores case is a sharp reminder that America’s immigration police have always had abuse issues regarding the people they detain and that at every step of the way, legal efforts to protect immigrants and make sure they are treated humanely are opposed by virulent racists and jack-booted thugs.
Trump’s authoritarian behavior has steadily escalated over the past few days with twin attacks on both the free press (who he slandered just this morning as “the enemy of the people”) and an independent judiciary that makes “bad decisions” at the exact same time as his grasp on reality has appeared to grow weaker and weaker with each passing day. It’s a volatile and deeply disturbing combination, and now more than ever we must remain vigilant and ready to take action should his hostile rhetoric become a reality.