Opinion: Trump’s leadership, not Congress, is helping kids at the border
Unlike most politicians, in the face of extreme pressure, President Donald Trump does not cave, buckle or capitulate. He leads.
While policy experts will tell you that we need legislation for a permanent fix to the problem of children who enter the county illegally separated from families at the border, Trump didn’t wait for Congress to act. He issued an executive order to protect kids.
It’s not permanent, but it delivers a sound, near-term solution.
Trump is doing everything in his power to reunite families at the border, while continuing to enforce the law.
“We are keeping families together,” he said. “This will solve that problem. At the same time, we are keeping a very powerful border and...we have zero tolerance for people who enter our country illegally.”
As the former governor of a border state, I appreciate the president’s dedication to keeping our citizens safe in the midst of a media firestorm.
The president’s executive order was both a sign of true compassion and bold leadership. Because of the 1997 court order known as the Flores Consent Decree, adults who enter the county illegally and their children cannot be detained in custody together, and children have to be placed with a close relative or family friend promptly. But Trump’s new action pushes back on the court order and allows children to stay in detention with their parents for an extended period of time.
The president first offered a comprehensive solution to resolve our illegal immigration system in January. That plan included a waiver for 1.8 million immigrants who arrived here illegally as children, an end to the visa lottery system and chain migration, and $25 billion in authorized funding for the border wall.
Rather than accepting a remarkable and unprecedented deal from the president, the Democrats rejected it because they didn’t want to deliver a victory to the president.
Similarly, they are now refusing to resolve the family separation issue permanently, and they won’t support allocating the resources to shelter families and enforce our laws.
Without congressional action, a court could block the president’s order immediately and uphold the 1997 decree, erasing any progress. Without congressional action, there also won’t be enough judges at the border to process these families and there won’t be enough shelters to properly house them together.
Democrats have used immigrant children who enter the country illegally as political pawns in their outrage campaign, while blocking any bipartisan and long-term legislative solution.
Now that Trump has demonstrated the necessary leadership to address this crisis, the Democrats must decide: will they work with the president to help these children and end our immigration crisis or will they continue to express outrage and block a solution?
In announcing his decision to block any solution that involves working with Republicans, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said “(t)here are so many obstacles to legislation,” insisting that there was no legislative fix and demanding that the president fix the problem alone.
Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow has fully backed Schumer and the Democrat leadership in blocking Trump. Since 2013 when she voted for the Gang of Eight amnesty, Stabenow has shown no divergence from her party’s resistance to Trump. In this Congress, she’s voted with Schumer 90 percent of the time.
Together, Schumer and Stabenow have repeatedly blocked a deal on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and building the wall — both crucial steps to fixing our broken immigration system.
With even the slightest cooperation from Democrats, the immigration problem could be solved for decades, but it’s becoming more and more clear they don’t want that. They’d rather use it as a wedge issue for the midterm elections, causing division and chaos.
Nonetheless, Trump has shown leadership and compassion while remaining resolute on enforcing the law at our border. Now that he has acted, Congress must follow his lead, stop the outrage and solve this problem with real action.
Jan Brewer is the former governor of Arizona and a member of the Donald J. Trump for President Inc. Advisory Board.