Last week’s story in the Washington Post was really something, even in this wild and depressing decade. Stephen Miller is trying to get DHS to enact a policy of ‘catch and release', in which asylum seekers and undocumented immigrants are transported to and released in large Democratic-leaning cities like Denver, San Francisco, Austin and New York. The story unfolded in the usual way - with whistleblowers inside the White House leaking the story to established journalists. But it has continued in the following news cycles because the president himself confirmed the accuracy of the story, and went further to state that the policy might still be implemented.
We should remind ourselves that we don't have to wait for Trump to commit a felony in plain sight in order to impeach him (although his recent use of the word "treason" is a technical violation of his oath). This policy, if implemented, would be very illegal and very dumb. I think Trump can be impeached for both his crimes and the policy suggestions he endorses. Just because his administration didn't go through with an idea doesn't mean they are clean.
Once again, someone in the White House has leaked a story to the press about a policy that was barely stopped. Can these people simply leave? They are not saving our nation by remaining there. Everyone who isn't evil needs to go. Everyone who stays needs to be in prison. They are all criminals.
The proposed policy idea also weakens the argument that our nation is “full.” They would love to stop all immigration, of course. But if given a choice where undocumented immigrants go, they are okay with them being “dumped” into the blue states and blue cities. Just keep them away from Rocky Mountain resort towns and elite Texas game ranches, right?
This is analogous to the abortion war. The right wing would love to criminalize abortion in all 55 states in territories. But that won’t happen. Some states, like New York, will have legal termination available for women who can travel there ad take time off from work. So their solution, in their minds, is to have ‘abortion free states.’ God won’t bring death and destruction to their red state if it can stop all family planning from being practiced.
Or put another way, the Right Wing sees “shitholes.”. New York. Chicago. San Francisco. Shitholes. They never believed in cities and don’t see cities as being part of the US.
What this amounts to, in my mind, is something far from One Nation. We are 55 states and territories, unified by a federal government that needs us to fund its forever wars. We’ve been sharply divided since Watergate. But stories like this really highlight how violent and permanent our divisions are. We will never fix anything ever again. We will never get back to the comparatively good old days of 1973, with a mild recession, no wars, and Republicans who were not only okay with abortion, but led the way in legalizing it. They celebrated Earth Day, too.