In the latest offer to Congress to get his border wall funded, Trump added what he no doubt believes is a “sweetener” to help Democrats end the government shutdown. That sweetener, however, is an explicit acknowledgment that the he deliberately created a humanitarian crisis on the border with Mexico for political purposes.
Trump has now abandoned the idea of a concrete wall, and is now offering the Democrats a “steel barrier”. He still wants $5.7 billion, but in his latest offer, he set aside a portion of the money “to address urgent humanitarian needs.” Reported the New York Times today (bold emphasis ours):
A day before, they had asked the administration for a detailed plan of how such money would be used, and the Office of Management and Budget responded with a letter on Sunday evening reiterating the president’s request for $5.7 billion for the construction of “a steel barrier” along the southern border. Democrats have rebuffed that figure.
But the letter also provided a fuller picture of Mr. Trump’s border demands. In a small gesture to Democrats, it said the president wanted $800 million “to address urgent humanitarian needs,” including enhanced medical treatment. It also asked for funds to support 52,000 detention beds and 2,000 more law enforcement agents.
Trump’s border disaster
The Trump administration built virtual concentration camps on the border to detain migrants, separate children (and new borns) from their parents, and hold them indefinitely. The reports from the camps have been horrific. Children are held in cages with no contact with their parents, and some have died from lack of proper medical attention. “I saw chain link cages full of unaccompanied children. They sat on metal benches and stared straight ahead silently,” remarked Sen. Peter Welch after visiting a border patrol processing facility. “It is nothing short of a prison.”
Migrants as bargaining chips
The fact that Trump is using an $800 million offer that he admits is desperately needed, is an explicit confession that he deliberately created an urgent humanitarian crisis in the first place. If he believes there is a humanitarian crisis in the camps he ordered built, then why has he not addressed it independently of his negotiations over the wall? If ever you wanted proof of just how morally bankrupt, sociopathic and cruel this president is, this would be it.
The Democrats, to their credit, are refusing to budge on Trump‘s sham offer and despicable use of desperate migrants as a bargaining tool. They did not create the crisis on the border, and they are correctly letting the president own every aspect of the toxic quagmire he created. Trump has boxed himself in politically, and has no good options left. He cannot give in to the Democrats for fear of alienating his base, and he cannot continue to hold the federal government to ransom as his approval rating continues to plummet.
Trump will of course, blame the Democrats for the appalling conditions he has created for migrants at the border, but the problem is, no one believes him any more. Why? Because he keeps telling people otherwise. Just as Trump publicly accepted blame for the government shutdown, he has now publicly accepted his key role in torturing children. The Democrats know this, and they are more than happy to watch the president hang himself.