June has quickly turned into illegal immigration month on Capitol Hill, with people who didn’t have too much of a problem with our broken borders and immigration enforcement system before just a few weeks ago suddenly declaring that it’s an outrage for the ages and it’s all Donald Trump’s fault.
The situation is a complex one that needs no recapitulation here, lest I bore you with the petty details as to why we’re in this mess. After all, the media certainly doesn’t, instead taking the insta-outrage approach so common to stories involving anything in even a distal orbit of the Trump administration.
All of this ended up on a rather packed docket for the White House briefing Monday, where immigration was pretty much the only thing on the agenda. In fact, the majority of the briefing featured Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen addressing the matter and insisting that once the loopholes in current legislation are closed, this could all be settled.
After that, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders took the podium for even further discussion of the matter, including one question from the U.K. Daily Mail’s Francesca Chambers in which Sanders was asked whether the Trump administration is using separated children as part of a strategy to get comprehensive immigration reform.
During the exchange, Chambers asked if “the administration is not using the children as pawns in this situation, then why not just have Congress pass legislation that narrowly deals with the family separation issue and sign it?”
Here’s the exchange:
“We want to fix the entire system. We don’t want to just tinker with it. The president is tired of watching people kick it down the road and not take responsibility and not fix the problems that we have,” Sanders responded.
When asked why the administration didn’t just deal with the problem immediately instead of looking at a comprehensive plan, Sanders said it had to do with making sure that they weren’t just addressing one narrow problem when numerous other ones existed.
“We have people flooding over the borders,” Sanders told Chambers.
“The president wants people to come to this country but we want them to come legally and through the right process. That’s what we are asking.
“We want to secure the border. There have been a number of individuals that are permanently separated from their families due to the illegal aliens that have come across the border and murdered and killed American citizens. Where is the outrage over that separation?”
(Sanders was right about that. Crimes committed by illegal aliens are one aspect of the argument the mainstream media is doing its best to avoid.)
“We want to fix the whole thing,” Sanders concluded. “We don’t want to just tinker with one part of it. This is a broken system and we’ve got to quit ignoring it.”
Let’s not forget that the president has been asking for comprehensive immigration reform since day one — reform which likely would have prevented this by closing the numerous legal loopholes involved. (Let’s also not forget that a president doesn’t just “have Congress pass a law” to do anything, as Chambers seems to think. It’s a co-equal branch of government that passes what it chooses to pass.)
Given that a narrow bill would likely involve a considerable use of congressional resources anyway, why not address all of the problems at once?
That’s what the administration is asking for, and the American people should expect no less.