By Dr. Tom Borelli originally posted at Conservative Review
The zero-tolerance policy implemented under President Trump at the U.S.-Mexico border has unleashed left-wing critics and NeverTrumpers in a fever-pitch to damage the president and shift political momentum to Democrats before the midterm elections. With President Trump’s accomplishments on the economy and national security, along with the president’s rising public approval ratings, the anti-Trump mob is eager to exploit a human tragedy at the border to score political points.
Children separated from their parents are a powerful emotional weapon wielded against President Trump. Under the zero-tolerance policy, individuals are arrested for illegal entry in the U.S., and their subsequent incarceration results in children being detained in a different facility.
The separation is heartbreaking, but prosecuting illegal alien parents and separating migrant children are not new. Neither is holding children who cross the border illegally in detention centers. Both happened under prior administrations.
The selective outrage by the Left over migrant children detention exposes their political agenda. The concern is not really about illegal alien children; it’s about doing as much political damage as possible to President Trump. The strategy executed by the Left is to use as much emotion as possible while ignoring facts and recent history.
The zeal to punish President Trump was revealed at the end of May, when a picture of detained migrant children sleeping in cages was circulated on Twitter, blaming the president. It was later revealed the picture was from a 2014 story by the Arizona Republic about almost 1,000 children who were detained after crossing the southern border.
Influential members of the media, including New York Times magazine Editor-in-Chief Jake Silverstein and CNN reporter Hadas Gold, tweeted the picture before correcting the record.
Detaining migrant children was not restricted to the flood of minors held in 2014. A 2015 story in the Washington Post, “Mexican kids held for months as punishment for border-crossing,” described an Obama-era policy of detaining children who were acting as guides to smuggle illegal aliens over the U.S. border. According to the story, more than 500 juveniles were detained.
The Left is also ignoring the way some illegal aliens are using children to game the system to gain entry into the U.S. During a speech to the National Association of Sheriffs, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen provided an important statistic: “From October 2017 to this February, we have seen a staggering 315 percent increase in illegal aliens fraudulently using children to pose as family units to gain entry into the country.”
In an effort to slam President Trump, extreme and outrageous comments are made by the president’s critics to drive Democrat voter turnout. MSNBC is leading the attack against the president. In a familiar strategy, a liberal host discussed the child separation issue with a left-wing Democrat and an anti-Trump Republican during a segment on MSNBC’s “Live with Stephanie Rule.” Stephanie Cutter, Obama’s former 2012 deputy campaign manager, was paired with former Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele and NBC News’ Julia Ainsley.
The panel was not a debate but an anti-Trump feeding frenzy. Cutter called the children detention centers “concentration camps,” and Steele did not challenge the outrageous comparison, but piled on, calling them “concentration camps for kids.” Not to be outdone by Cutter, Steele ended his comment with a wild statement warning Americans that they “need to wake up and pay attention. Because your kids could be next.”
The extreme concentration camp references are reverberating throughout the left-wing media echo chamber. An analysis by the Media Research Center reported MSNBC and CNN made almost two dozen comparisons of the migrant children detention centers to Nazi concentration camps, to Japanese internment camps in the U.S. during World War II, to slavery.
The Left’s use of outrageous and extreme rhetoric shows a high level of frustration with President Trump’s success and a desperate attempt to sway public opinion to influence voters.
Dr. Tom Borelli is a contributor to Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @tomborelli.