President Donald Trump reversed his position on zero tolerance immigration enforcement and separating families at the border.

But I’m not hopeful all the hyperbole, bald-faced demagoguery and outright lies being bandied about will end any time soon.

For the record, I must say I disagreed with Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ “zero tolerance” decree.

The minute I heard it, I knew a major political conflagration was brewing. Anytime one side or the other believes there is political advantage to be gained, it’s on.

So the Trump administration comes out with a policy of separating migrant children from their families if caught crossing the border without permission.

I understand the law is the law. But past administrations had been able to thread the needle of enforcing immigration laws while mostly keeping families intact. Not all the time. Not in every case.

In every administration – including Obama’s – there always have been families separated at the border. Just not as a matter of policy and not as many.

But Trump’s policy was explicit and intentional. There was no wiggle room to claim that the separations were unintended consequences. Adminstration officials were on record commenting that perhaps the  policy of taking kids away from their parents at the border would serve as a deterrent to would-be illegal immigrants.

I also think Trump thought – quite wrongly – that this policy could be a bargaining chip in the larger immigration battle. You know, “Build The Wall! Build The Wall!”

What could go wrong?

Well, virtually everything.

Aside from it being just a dumb, inhumane policy, it wasn’t even cost-effective. Previous administrations were able to release families after equipping them with ankle monitors. That cost around $10 a day. Detention costs $100 a day.

And it goes way beyond that.

Ron Blitzer, writing for, notes that a group of 75 former United States attorneys nominated by Democratic and Republican presidents wrote a letter to Sessions.

They pointed out that the policy not only hurts kids taken from their families, but it flies in the face of Republican goals of larger immigration reform. They called the policy “dangerous, expensive, and inconsistent with the values of the institution in which we served.”

They said more routine stuff – the policy “results in the unnecessary trauma and suffering of innocent children” and doesn’t “balance the need for effective enforcement and deterrence with humanity and compassion.”

But then they explained what the zero tolerance policy will mean for the attorneys who have to enforce it.

By having to prosecute every single case of illegal entry – mostly misdemeanors because most suspects are first-time offenders – resources would be drained by an ever-increasing caseload.

Prosecutors’ resources already are strained, they told Sessions. And having to expend even more of these limited resources on misdemeanor cases would “ultimately render us less safe as a nation.” That’s because when attorneys are busy handling misdemeanor cases, they’re not available to work on terrorism, human trafficking, drug cartels and government corruption.

The letter also pointed out what the prosecutors called the “the crushing expense” of the policy.

“At a time when federal prison costs are threatening to blow an unfillable hole in the Department of Justice’s budget, the United States must now bear the cost of detaining parents and their entire families for months as their misdemeanor cases wind through the court system.”

That doesn’t sound very conservative, now does it?

No matter how you slice it, it was a pretty terrible policy move.

But equally terrible was the way opponents behaved.

Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer (N.Y.) on Tuesday dismissed a legislative proposal backed by Republican leaders to keep immigrant families together at the border.

Huh, I thought the Dems cared about the children.


Too many obstacles to legislation, Schumer said, when the president can just fix it with his pen.

Read between the lines and you clearly can see Schumer calculates this “horrible humanitarian tragedy” is palatable as long as the politics are swinging his way.

Why fix it as long as it’s making Trump look bad?

Schumer and the Democrats were all too happy to use those “poor children” as their own political pawns.

I saw pictures of “caged children” on social media. Those posting the pictures decried what Trump had done. Turns out the pictures were from 2014 when Barack Obama was president.

Oh, well. Details, details.

Nobody bothers to correct the error and the pictures are shared and retweeted a zillion times.

The mainstream media was awash in news anchors – not opinion hosts, mind you, anchors – comparing the policy to Nazi Germany concentration camps or Japanese internment camps.

To be sure, I’m confident it was awful for these kids – roughly 70 per day – to be separated from their parents, but they’re being fed school lunches and playing video games.

Then, of course, there’s social media.

The Office of the First Lady actually called the U.S. Secret Service to report a tweet by Peter Fonda which seemed to suggest the kidnapping of her son, Baron.

Check out this gem:

“We should rip Barron Trump from his mother’s arms and put him in a cage with pedophiles and see if mother will stand up against the giant a****** she is married to. 90 million people on the streets on the same weekend in the country. F***”

Fonda also called for the public caging and rape of Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kristjen Nielsen and made disparaging, mysoginist remarks about White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders.

And he encouraged his 46,000 Twitter followers to get the names and addresses of immigration agents so they could surround their homes and their children’s schools.

Ah yes.

Just another compassionate liberal.