Here’s an array of reports on how America under the Trump regime has joined the ranks of dictatorships, torturers, child abusers, persecutors, and human rights criminals!

Eugene Robinson
Eugene Robinson
Opinion Columnist
Washington Post
Source: WashPost Website

Eugene Robinson @ WashPost:

What kind of people are we? As a society, are we so decadent and insecure that we show “toughness” by deliberately being cruel to innocent children? Is this what our nation has come to? Or are we better than that?

This election demands we answer those questions. The choice between President Trump and Joe Biden is not just political. It is also moral. And perhaps nothing more starkly illustrates the moral dimension of that decision than the Trump administration’s policy of kidnapping children at the southern U.S. border, ripping them away from their families — and doing so for no reason other than to demonstrate Trump’s warped vision of American strength.

We learned this week that some of those separations will probably be permanent. As NBC News first reported, 545 boys and girls taken as many as three years ago — the children of would-be immigrants and asylum seekers, mostly from Central America — have not been reunited with their parents and may never see their families again.

These are not among the nearly 3,000 families separated at the border in 2018, when children were kept in cages like animals or shipped away to facilities across the country, hundreds or thousands of miles from the border. We now know, thanks to the American Civil Liberties Union and other pro bono lawyers, that an additional 1,500 children were torn away from their families beginning in 2017, when the Trump administration conducted a trial run of the separation policy.

Please think about that. The shocking scenes we saw two years ago did not result from a sudden spasm of presidential anger. They didn’t stem from a Fox News segment Trump might have seen one evening. Rather, the administration rehearsed this form of cruelty.

What the administration did not plan for was how to reunite the children taken in 2017 with their families. Many of the parents were deported, and their children were placed in shelters around the country, then ostensibly released to parents or guardians, placements that the ACLU is still trying to confirm.

[Our Democracy in Peril: A series on the damage Trump has caused — and the danger he would pose in a second term]

The ACLU and other organizations have sent investigators to towns and villages in Central America in an attempt to find the kidnapped children’s families — an effort complicated not just by time and distance, but also by the covid-19 pandemic. Parents of 545 children have not been found, the ACLU reported this week.

Disturbingly, the Department of Homeland Security suggested that some of the parents declined to get their children back so they could remain in the United States. Keep in mind that most of these families were seeking asylum from deadly violence in their home countries. The Trump administration changed immigration guidelines to make it unlikely that the families would ultimately be allowed to stay in the United States, but federal law gives them the right to apply for asylum and to have their cases heard. They did nothing wrong. They should never have been asked to choose between parenting their children and getting them to safety — not by their home countries, and not by the United States.

Trump’s racism and xenophobia have been hallmarks of his presidency from the beginning, so perhaps it should be no surprise that he would preside over such an outrage. But he didn’t do this by himself. He had plenty of help.

Former attorney general Jeff Sessions seized an opportunity to make his rabid antipathy toward Hispanic immigration into policy. White House senior adviser Stephen Miller, a former Sessions aide in the Senate, was the architect of Trump’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy. Then-White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly said in 2018 that the children taken would be “taken care of — put into foster care or whatever.” Former homeland security secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said last year that she regretted that “information flow and coordination to quickly reunite the families was clearly not in place” — but not the separations themselves.

. . . .

Read the rest of Eugene’s article here:



Elise Foley
Elise Foley
Deputy Enterprise Editor
Photo Source: HuffPost.com

Elise Foley @ HuffPost:

President Donald Trump’s administration started and carried out a policy that took more than 4,000 children from their parents, at least 545 of whom are still split apart years later. But at Thursday’s debate, the president insisted that he did nothing wrong at all ― blaming his Democratic predecessors and even insisting the kids are doing fine.

“They are so well taken care of,” Trump said of the children taken from their parents by his administration. “They’re in facilities that were so clean.”

Trump’s first term was marked by a full-out assault on immigration, both legal and unauthorized. The most dramatic was his “zero tolerance” policy on unauthorized border-crossing, used in a 2017 pilot program and expanded more broadly in 2018, that led to criminal prosecution of parents and locking up their kids separately. Splitting up families was intentional and calculated, according to multiple reports.

Thanks to mass public outrage and a court order, Trump was forced to stop his family separation policy. Most families were reunited, but the American Civil Liberties Union, which was part of the lawsuit against the government that stopped the policy, said this week that at least 545 kids are still away from their parents.

“Their kids were ripped from their arms and separated,” Democratic nominee Joe Biden said during the debate. “And now they cannot find over 500 sets of those parents and those kids are alone. Nowhere to go. Nowhere to go. It’s criminal.”

. . . .

Read the rest of Elise’s article here:



Ruth Marcus
Washington Post Columnist Ruth Marcus, moderates a panel discussion about chronic poverty with Education Secretary John B. King and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, during the National Association of Counties at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park, in Washington, DC, on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016. U.S. Department of Agriculture photo by Lance Cheung.

Ruth Marcus @ WashPost:


That is the number of children still separated from their families by the Trump administration — separated deliberately, cruelly and recklessly. They might never be reunited with their parents again. Even if they are, the damage is unimaginable and irreparable.


Even one would be too many. Each one represents a unique tragedy. Imagine being ripped from your parents, or having your child taken from you. Imagine the desperation that the parents feel, the trauma inflicted on their children.


That number represents an indelible stain on President Trump and every individual in his administration who implemented this policy, flawed at the conception and typically, gruesomely incompetent in the execution. It is, perhaps in the technical sense but surely in the broader one, a crime against humanity. It is torture.


That number — I will stop repeating it, yet it cannot be repeated enough — represents a moral challenge and responsibility for the next administration. If Joe Biden is elected president, he must devote the maximum resources of the federal government to fixing this disaster. The United States broke these families; it must do whatever it takes to help them heal.

Nothing like that would happen in a second Trump term, because Trump himself doesn’t care. He doesn’t grasp the horror that he oversaw. He doesn’t comprehend the policy, and he is incapable of feeling the pain it inflicted.

Those truths could not have been clearer cut than during Thursday night’s debate.

Moderator Kristen Welker of NBC News asked the president a simple question: “How will these families ever be reunited?”

First, Trump misstated the situation: “Their children are brought here by coyotes and lots of bad people, cartels, and they’re brought here, and they used to use them to get into our country.”

No. These are children separated from their families, not separated from smugglers. They are children brought by their parents in desperate search of a better life, desperate enough that they would take the risk of the dangerous journey.

Then Trump pivoted to the irrelevant: “We now have as strong a border as we’ve ever had. We’re over 400 miles of brand new wall. You see the numbers. And we let people in, but they have to come in legally.”

Welker persisted: “But how will you reunite these kids with their families, Mr. President?”

Trump responded by pointing his finger at his predecessor: “Let me just tell you, they built cages. You know, they used to say I built the cages, and then they had a picture in a certain newspaper and it was a picture of these horrible cages and they said look at these cages, President Trump built them, and then it was determined they were built in 2014. That was him.”

This is typical Trumpian deflection, bluster undergirded by ignorance. The “cages” are ugly but irrelevant to the topic at hand: the deliberately cruel plan to deter border-crossing by separating children from parents. That was a Trump administration special, implemented with callous sloppiness and so extreme that even the Trump administration abandoned it.

Welker, for the third time: “Do you have a plan to reunite the kids with their families?”

At which point Trump made clear that he did not: “We’re trying very hard, but a lot of these kids come out without the parents, they come over through cartels and through coyotes and through gangs.” The children, he added later, “are so well taken care of, they’re in facilities that were so clean.”

. . . .

Read the rest of Ruth’s op-ed here:



Bess Levin
Bess Levin
Politics & Finance Writer
Vanity Fair

Bess Levin
@ Vanity Fair:

The third and final presidential debate gave Donald Trump and Joe Biden the opportunity to make their final pitch to the American people before the 2020 election. For the Democratic nominee, that meant driving home the point that he believes in science, that he’ll take the COVID-19 pandemic seriously, that climate change is real, and that systemic racism must be dealt with. For Trump, it meant making it clear that in addition to being a science-denying, QAnon-promoting dimwit, he’s also an actual monster who thinks separating small children from their parents, in some cases permanently, is absolutely fine.

Asked by moderated Kristen Welker about the news that parents of 545 children separated at the border—60 of whom are under the age of five—cannot be located, Trump defended the policy and gave no explanation for how the government plans to find these people and reunite their families. “Children are brought here by coyotes and lots of bad people, cartels, and they’re brought here and they used to use them to get into our country,” Trump said, which is objectively false, as they are brought here by their parents, which is why it’s called the family separation policy. “We now have as strong a border as we’ve ever had. We’re over 400 miles of brand new wall. You see the numbers and we let people in but they have to come in legally.”

Noting that Trump hadn’t answered the question, Welker pressed: “But how will you unite these kids with their families?”

“They built cages, they used to say I built cages…that was him,” Trump said, pointing to Biden and referring to the fact that the Obama administration did build temporary enclosures but failing, naturally, to mention that his predecessor did not separate families.

“Do you have a plan to reunite the kids with their parents?” Welker asked a third time. Again, Trump responded by claiming that the children “come without the parents, they come over through cartels and through coyotes and through gangs.”

At this point, Joe Biden was given a chance to weigh in and used his time to describe the policy implemented by Trump as the horror show all non-sociopaths know it to be. “Parents, their kids were ripped from their arms and they were separated and now they cannot find over 500 sets of those parents and those kids are alone, nowhere to go. It’s criminal.”

Then Trump interjected with what he apparently believed was an important point that would cast his administration in a much more favorable light and perhaps might even win it some awards or sainthood by the Catholic church. “Kristen, I will say this,” he told the moderator, of the children stolen from their parents. “They’re so well taken care of. They’re in facilities that are so clean.

With regard to that claim, NBC News reporter Jacob Soboroff weighed in on that after the debate, telling Rachel Maddow: “I was one of the reporters I guess the president mentioned, they invited me to go to the epicenter of this policy…what I saw was little children sitting on concrete floors, covered by mylar blankets, supervised by security contractors in a watchtower, it makes me sick every time I recall it. And Physicians for Human Rights…called this torture…the American Academy of Pediatrics called this state-sanctioned child abuse, and the president of the United States I guess interprets that as children being well taken care of.”

Read the rest of The Levin Report here:



Jacob Soboroff
Jacob Soboroff
NBC Correspondent
Jacob Soboroff at the ABC News Democratic Debate
National Constitution Center. Philadelphia, PA.
Creative Commons License

Here’s a video from NBC New’s  Jacob Soboroff, who has actually been inside “Trump’s Kiddie Gulag.” Surprise spoiler: It’s not “nice.” More like “torture” and “child abuse.”



Julia Edwards Ainsley

And, here’s another video from NBC News’s always incisive and articulate Julia Edwards Ainsley:



There is neither moral nor legal justification for what the Trump regime has done to asylum seekers and other migrants over the past four years as part of their racist, White Nationalist, nativist agenda. But, we can show that we’re a better country than his horrible vision by voting him and all of his enablers out of office! Vote ‘Em out, vote ‘Em out!