Rantt Rundown: Over 2,300 Children Will Remain Separated From Their Parents After Trump’s Executive Order

Day 517 of the Trump presidency.

President Donald Trump holds up an executive order he signed to end family separations, during an event in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, June 20, 2018. Looking on is Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, left. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

President Donald Trump holds up an executive order he signed to end family separations, during an event in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, June 20, 2018. Looking on is Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, left. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Today, President Trump signed an executive order that trades one inhumane policy for another and doesn’t reunite the over 2,300 immigrant children already separated from their parents. Let’s break it down:

The Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy of prosecuting all undocumented immigrants who cross the southern border unlawfully has resulted in at least 2,342 immigrant children separated from their parents between May 5 and June 9, according to the Department of Homeland Security. At least 700 more had been separated before the policy was officially announced (a deep dive into the policy, fact-checks of Trump’s lies, and reaction to it here). Those children’s futures are still uncertain.

The executive order Trump signed today doesn’t end the “zero tolerance” policy, which is the real problem. After Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced “zero tolerance,” prosecutorial discretion was ended. That means officers who once had the ability to decide whether or not to prosecute immigrants at the border no longer have that ability and must prosecute all of them. The executive order still ensures all undocumented immigrants are prosecuted, but now the parents must be detained with their children. Apparently, this does not apply to the over 2,300 children (including babies) who have already been separated from their parents. The New York Times reported:

And a Health and Human Services official said that more than 2,300 children who have already been separated from their parents under the president’s “zero tolerance” policy will not be immediately reunited with their families while the adults remain in federal custody during their immigration proceedings.

“There will not be a grandfathering of existing cases,” said Kenneth Wolfe, a spokesman for the Administration for Children and Families, a division of the Department of Health and Human Services. Mr. Wolfe said the decision about the children was made by the White House, but he added, “I can tell you definitively that is going to be policy.”

This is tragic, especially given the fact we’ve learned of some lawsuits alleging abuse and forced injections on the children.

This order came while we waited for the Department of Homeland security to provide details and images of where the young girls and infants are being housed (which the media should still demand). There is footage of what may be migrant girls being snuck into a shelter in New York.

The Associated Press obtained some details on the infants yesterday, which brought MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow to tears.

Even though newly detained migrant children will no longer be separated from their parents, the family internment is still unacceptable. In order to have the capacity to house them, President Trump ordered the Department of Defense to create room on U.S. military bases where these migrants can be indefinitely held during the prosecution process. They will likely create more tent cities, which are highly expensive to the U.S. taxpayer. We will effectively have migrant internment camps around the U.S.

This brings up the Flores settlement which ruled that children must not be detained for more than 20 days, which the Trump administration will be violating with their indefinite detention of the families. It seems almost certain that this will be struck down by the courts. But what happens then?

Will the Trump administration then try and continue the separation of children after that? Keep the pressure up and find answers.

One more point: when it comes to the motive behind President Trump’s executive order, don’t believe the White House spin.

President Trump owns this human rights abuse. This inhumanity is a stain on American history we’ll never forget. This is who this President is.

Donald the Depraved.

Meanwhile…

  • It appears prosecutors in the Southern District of New York are probing whether or not Trump’s personal fixer Michael Cohen, and now-former Deputy Finance Chair of the RNC, coordinated the hush money payment of Karen McDougal.

Federal authorities have subpoenaed the publisher of the National Enquirer for records related to its $150,000 payment to a former Playboy model for the rights to her story alleging an affair with Donald Trump, according to people familiar with the matter.

The subpoena from Manhattan federal prosecutors requesting information from the publisher, American Media Inc., about its August 2016 payment to Karen McDougal is part of a broader criminal investigation of Mr. Trump’s former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, they said.

The Trump administration plans to advocate a merger of the Education and Labor departments as part of a sweeping government overhaul, according to two individuals familiar with the proposal who declined to be named because it’s not yet public.

The new combined agency, if approved by Congress, would be part of a broader government reorganization plan that could be announced as soon as Thursday, POLITICO reported. Mick Mulvaney, director of the OMB, has been working on the reorganization plan since his confirmation more than a year ago.

A longtime US lobbyist for the Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska visited Julian Assange nine times at the Ecuadorian embassy in London last year, according to visitor logs seen by the Guardian.

Adam Waldman, who has worked as a Washington lobbyist for the metals tycoon since 2009, had more meetings with Assange in 2017 than almost anyone else, the records show.

It is not clear why Waldman went to the WikiLeaks founder or whether the meetings had any connection to the Russian billionaire, who is now subject to US sanctions. But the disclosure is likely to raise further questions about the extent and nature of Assange’s alleged ties to Russia.

Defense Secretary James Mattis has approved a Justice Department request to send 21 active-duty military lawyers to the southern border, the Pentagon confirmed to MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Wednesday night.

The details: The DOJ wants the active-duty Judge Advocate Generals (JAGs) sent to six cities in Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico to work as prosecutors for roughly six months on cases regarding illegal immigrants. The decision comes in the heat of the battle over the Trump administration’s application of a “zero-tolerance” policy to illegal border crossings, which refers all adults crossing illegally to the DOJ for criminal prosecution.

Michael R. Bloomberg, the billionaire former mayor of New York City, has decided to throw his political clout and personal fortune behind the Democratic campaign to take control of the House of Representatives this year, directing aides to spend tens of millions of dollars in an effort to expel Republicans from power.

Mr. Bloomberg — a political independent who has championed left-of-center policies on gun control, immigration and the environment — has approved a plan to pour at least $80 million into the 2018 election, with the bulk of that money going to support Democratic congressional candidates, advisers to Mr. Bloomberg said.

  • The U.S.’ exit from the Human Rights Council raised concerns in Israel, despite the U.S. claiming Israel as a reason to exit.

Former Ambassador Susan Rice responded.

Rundown // Donald Trump / Human Rights / Immigration