[ {"id":"61d8b6b7-5708-5140-b5bc-e50b3a87e8cf","type":"article","starttime":"1529398800","starttime_iso8601":"2018-06-19T04:00:00-05:00","lastupdated":"1529405896","sections":[{"columnists":"opinion/columnists"}],"flags":{"top_story":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Alexander: Our cruelty will be remembered","url":"http://qctimes.com/opinion/columnists/article_61d8b6b7-5708-5140-b5bc-e50b3a87e8cf.html","permalink":"https://qctimes.com/opinion/columnists/alexander-our-cruelty-will-be-remembered/article_61d8b6b7-5708-5140-b5bc-e50b3a87e8cf.html","canonical":"https://qctimes.com/opinion/columnists/alexander-our-cruelty-will-be-remembered/article_61d8b6b7-5708-5140-b5bc-e50b3a87e8cf.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":2,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Jon Alexander\nEditorial Page Editor","prologue":"These children will remember. They'll remember being ripped away from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border. They'll remember being placed in chain-link cages. They'll remember American cruelty. More than 2,000 immigrant children are sitting in holding pens, some for months. Their only crime is following their parents into a country run by hardline nativists who, just recently, announced that rape and domestic abuse are no longer viable reasons for asylum.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":[],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"personality","images":[{"id":"d9827200-b3b3-56b3-bc96-f2366d10a769","description":"A young boy is detained along with his family members May 31 in Texas.","byline":"CAROLYN COLE, TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICE","hireswidth":1783,"hiresheight":1162,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/98/d9827200-b3b3-56b3-bc96-f2366d10a769/5b27e8d347c58.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1783","height":"1162","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/98/d9827200-b3b3-56b3-bc96-f2366d10a769/5b27e8d32ef40.image.jpg?resize=1783%2C1162"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"65","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/98/d9827200-b3b3-56b3-bc96-f2366d10a769/5b27e8d32ef40.image.jpg?resize=100%2C65"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"196","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/98/d9827200-b3b3-56b3-bc96-f2366d10a769/5b27e8d32ef40.image.jpg?resize=300%2C196"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"667","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/98/d9827200-b3b3-56b3-bc96-f2366d10a769/5b27e8d32ef40.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C667"}}},{"id":"82bec63e-cf72-5b85-a998-5b198a6cb8f3","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"mugshot","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"712","height":"470","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/2b/82bec63e-cf72-5b85-a998-5b198a6cb8f3/5a78cc9ee7f73.image.jpg?crop=712%2C470%2C1%2C282&resize=712%2C470&order=crop%2Cresize"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"141","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/2b/82bec63e-cf72-5b85-a998-5b198a6cb8f3/567963934788e.preview-100.jpg"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"198","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/2b/82bec63e-cf72-5b85-a998-5b198a6cb8f3/5a78cc9ee7f73.image.jpg?crop=712%2C470%2C1%2C282&resize=300%2C198&order=crop%2Cresize"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"676","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/2b/82bec63e-cf72-5b85-a998-5b198a6cb8f3/5a78cc9ee7f73.image.jpg?crop=712%2C470%2C1%2C282"}}}],"revision":6,"commentID":"61d8b6b7-5708-5140-b5bc-e50b3a87e8cf","body":"

These children will remember.

They'll remember being ripped away from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border. They'll remember being placed in chain-link cages. They'll remember American cruelty.

More than 2,000 immigrant children are sitting in holding pens, some for months. Their only crime is following their parents into a country run by hardline nativists who, just recently, announced that rape and domestic abuse are no longer viable reasons for asylum.

This past week, journalists were given limited access to the new American internment camps in Texas. They saw pre-teens changing the diapers of toddlers whom they did not know. They saw detainees sleeping on bedrolls on the floor. They saw children lined up in chow lines not unlike those found in federal prisons.

Face it folks, this is what we are \u2014 fearful, racist and savage.\u00a0

These children will remember it.

They'll remember it like the children in Iraq and Afghanistan who saw loved ones killed during drone strikes. They'll remember it like those whose fathers disappeared after 9/11, whisked away to cells at Guantanamo Bay and, in too many cases, have yet to see a day in court almost two decades on. They'll remember it like \"dreamers,\" who acted in good faith only to be betrayed by the U.S. government years later.\u00a0

They'll know better than most about American hypocrisy as U.S. diplomats lambaste cruelty abroad while defending it at home.\u00a0\u00a0

Our esteemed President Donald Trump claims he doesn't like the separation policy that could result in 30,000 migrant children stuck in pens by August, according estimates reported by the Washington Examiner. He blames it on everyone but himself \u2014 past administrations, Congress and Democrats. Yet no other administration has done this and U.S. immigration law hasn't changed for years. For even the most heinous felonies, children aren't blamed for their parents' crimes in the U.S. Illegal entry is a misdemeanor under federal law.

What's happening in Texas is the policy of the Trump administration, one that uncomfortably resembles the shameful internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. It's implementation is a choice made by the likes of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a man who's championed so-called \"zero tolerance\" immigration policies from the get-go. It's Trump's call to use children as leverage, holding them hostage for a $25 billion ransom for his border wall. Trump said as much in a Monday morning tweet-storm.

These are the men we put in power. They're a reflection of us, and all our racial insecurities. They're seizing on sophomoric slogans, such as \"the Heartland\" \u2014 touted by both political parties \u2014 that for decades have signaled to voters that experiences elsewhere throughout the country are somehow less American as those in distinctly white-bred regions.\u00a0

Throughout the weekend, the president continued his tirade about the alleged dangers of immigration. He fell back to his tired talking points about gangs, such as MS-13. He ignored all the evidence that immigrant populations commit less crime than native-born Americans. And on Monday, he took another shot at an American ally \u2014 Germany \u2014 where right-wing nativists are threatening Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition. Later Monday, he made the trek down Pennsylvania Avenue to meet with congressional Republicans about immigration.\u00a0

Those children in cages \u2014 a description that apparently makes Border Patrol \"uncomfortable,\" poor dears \u2014 they're just pawns. And it's doubtless that among the thousands, many of them will some day realize it and judge us accordingly.

"}, {"id":"480e3dc5-c47f-5305-9653-693bac66d58e","type":"article","starttime":"1529389800","starttime_iso8601":"2018-06-19T01:30:00-05:00","sections":[{"letters":"opinion/letters"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Letter: Make substance abuse a priority","url":"http://qctimes.com/opinion/letters/article_480e3dc5-c47f-5305-9653-693bac66d58e.html","permalink":"https://qctimes.com/opinion/letters/letter-make-substance-abuse-a-priority/article_480e3dc5-c47f-5305-9653-693bac66d58e.html","canonical":"https://qctimes.com/opinion/letters/letter-make-substance-abuse-a-priority/article_480e3dc5-c47f-5305-9653-693bac66d58e.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":0,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"The dangers of mental illness and substance abuse go hand and hand. Many people are not aware of this and do not get the proper treatment. I recently experienced this. A family member was court committed to go to a facility for substance abuse. This family member also suffers from bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. The substance abuse provider said to me, \"He does not qualify.\"","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":[],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"revision":2,"commentID":"480e3dc5-c47f-5305-9653-693bac66d58e","body":"

The dangers of mental illness and substance abuse go hand and hand.

Many people are not aware of this and do not get the proper treatment. I recently experienced this. A family member was court committed to go to a facility for substance abuse. This family member also suffers from bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. The substance abuse provider said to me, \"He does not qualify.\"

Really? After taking a whole bottle of pills and he doesn't? I was outraged.

Where do we find the right balance to help our loved ones? Shouldn't money be invested to prevent people who are mentally ill \\from substance abuse? Or are taxpayers paying for nonsense stuff like building a bridge that goes nowhere?

Millions of dollars are being wasted. Why not use that money to help the unfortunate? It could help not hearing about school shootings anymore either. Stand up, be an advocate.\u00a0

Angie Rohwer

Davenport

"}, {"id":"4aaddd65-13c8-590a-b186-58bbf5c6d9fa","type":"article","starttime":"1529389800","starttime_iso8601":"2018-06-19T01:30:00-05:00","sections":[{"letters":"opinion/letters"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Letter: Trump saluted an enemy","url":"http://qctimes.com/opinion/letters/article_4aaddd65-13c8-590a-b186-58bbf5c6d9fa.html","permalink":"https://qctimes.com/opinion/letters/letter-trump-saluted-an-enemy/article_4aaddd65-13c8-590a-b186-58bbf5c6d9fa.html","canonical":"https://qctimes.com/opinion/letters/letter-trump-saluted-an-enemy/article_4aaddd65-13c8-590a-b186-58bbf5c6d9fa.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":0,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"America is approaching its 244th birthday soon. During this time, our country has been involved in 70-plus wars and skirmishes, resulting in more than 2.8 million American deaths of servicemen and women. As a five-year veteran of the Air Force, I had to take an oath as do all members of our military to defend and protect our country. This past week, I saw something that I thought I never would. I saw the commander-in-chief of salute a general of a country that we are technically still at war with. This shocked me beyond belief. Would Wilson have saluted the Kaiser? Would Truman salute Hitler? Would Nixon salute Ho Chi Minh? And yet we witnessed President Trump salute a general of a country that kills its own people. Does this not bother anyone but me? Regardless of one\u2019s political views, this should outrage every member of our military both active and retired.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":[],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"revision":3,"commentID":"4aaddd65-13c8-590a-b186-58bbf5c6d9fa","body":"

America is approaching its 244th birthday soon. During this time, our country has been involved in 70-plus wars and skirmishes, resulting in more than 2.8 million American deaths of servicemen and women.

As a five-year veteran of the Air Force, I had to take an oath as do all members of our military to defend and protect our country. This past week, I saw something that I thought I never would. I saw the commander-in-chief of salute a general of a country that we are technically still at war with. This shocked me beyond belief. Would Wilson have saluted the Kaiser? Would Truman salute Hitler? Would Nixon salute Ho Chi Minh? And yet we witnessed President Trump salute a general of a country that kills its own people. Does this not bother anyone but me? Regardless of one\u2019s political views, this should outrage every member of our military both active and retired.

If you say \u201cit's no big deal,\u201d maybe you should ask a family member of someone who died in battle on the fields of Korea. What does this say not only about us as a country, but about our leaders?

Jerry Laake

Davenport

"}, {"id":"048a1a0f-40dd-5bf9-85f8-851a09eb55f8","type":"article","starttime":"1529389800","starttime_iso8601":"2018-06-19T01:30:00-05:00","sections":[{"letters":"opinion/letters"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Letter: Trump prefers dictators","url":"http://qctimes.com/opinion/letters/article_048a1a0f-40dd-5bf9-85f8-851a09eb55f8.html","permalink":"https://qctimes.com/opinion/letters/letter-trump-prefers-dictators/article_048a1a0f-40dd-5bf9-85f8-851a09eb55f8.html","canonical":"https://qctimes.com/opinion/letters/letter-trump-prefers-dictators/article_048a1a0f-40dd-5bf9-85f8-851a09eb55f8.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":0,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"President Trump's love affair with dictators grows more obvious daily. And dictators learned early on that rolling out the red carpet and turning on the cameras was all that was needed to take advantage of his weakness. He arrived late at the recent G-7 gathering of our friends and allies and left early. Then he followed up with embarrassingly rude messages to the G-7 as he flew off to Singapore to salute a North Korean soldier. He posed in front of our flags mingled with North Korean flags \u2014 our flag, that many have died for to protect our freedoms.\u00a0","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":[],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"revision":3,"commentID":"048a1a0f-40dd-5bf9-85f8-851a09eb55f8","body":"

President Trump's love affair with dictators grows more obvious daily. And dictators learned early on that rolling out the red carpet and turning on the cameras was all that was needed to take advantage of his weakness.

He arrived late at the recent G-7 gathering of our friends and allies and left early. Then he followed up with embarrassingly rude messages to the G-7 as he flew off to Singapore to salute a North Korean soldier. He posed in front of our flags mingled with North Korean flags \u2014 our flag, that many have died for to protect our freedoms.\u00a0

He has insulted gold star parents and John McCain's prisoner of war experience while calling marching racists \"very fine people.\" His administration, not Democrats, is separating small children from parents seeking asylum by promising a bath, which is the same promise made to people in Nazi concentration camps before they were gassed.

The president is an inveterate liar, yet calls the free press our biggest enemy. He doesn't understand the Constitution and the rule of law gets in his way. His Cabinet members rob us blind, and most in his administration have forgotten the oath taken when they were sworn in.

Mary Tomsche

Long Grove

"}, {"id":"2b735676-381e-58d2-aa1a-1b7a88bbf0c4","type":"article","starttime":"1529388000","starttime_iso8601":"2018-06-19T01:00:00-05:00","sections":[{"columnists":"opinion/columnists"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Gerson: Heresy is no defense for cruelty","url":"http://qctimes.com/opinion/columnists/article_2b735676-381e-58d2-aa1a-1b7a88bbf0c4.html","permalink":"https://qctimes.com/opinion/columnists/gerson-heresy-is-no-defense-for-cruelty/article_2b735676-381e-58d2-aa1a-1b7a88bbf0c4.html","canonical":"https://qctimes.com/opinion/columnists/gerson-heresy-is-no-defense-for-cruelty/article_2b735676-381e-58d2-aa1a-1b7a88bbf0c4.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Michael Gerson","prologue":"Logic not being the strong point of the Trump administration, it claims that it is not to blame for the separation of families at the border, and that a just God is pleased it is happening. The first claim is a lie. Without the administration's \"zero-tolerance\" policy, there would be no surge in detained children at overwhelmed facilities. And President Trump has incurred further responsibility by employing confused, frightened children as leverage in negotiations over a border wall. All of this is taking place as a direct result of Trump's command to get tough at the border. And what shows toughness better than mistreating little boys and girls?","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":[],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"6fc057be-87ce-5413-a0c8-78aad5456a9b","description":"Michael Gerson","byline":"","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"600","height":"505","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/6/fc/6fc057be-87ce-5413-a0c8-78aad5456a9b/5a78cd8edf52f.image.jpg?resize=600%2C505"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"84","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/6/fc/6fc057be-87ce-5413-a0c8-78aad5456a9b/56379e556c23b.preview-100.jpg"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"253","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/6/fc/6fc057be-87ce-5413-a0c8-78aad5456a9b/5a78cd8edf52f.image.jpg?resize=300%2C253"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"862","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/6/fc/6fc057be-87ce-5413-a0c8-78aad5456a9b/5a78cd8edf52f.image.jpg"}}}],"revision":3,"commentID":"2b735676-381e-58d2-aa1a-1b7a88bbf0c4","body":"

Logic not being the strong point of the Trump administration, it claims that it is not to blame for the separation of families at the border, and that a just God is pleased it is happening.

The first claim is a lie. Without the administration's \"zero-tolerance\" policy, there would be no surge in detained children at overwhelmed facilities. And President Trump has incurred further responsibility by employing confused, frightened children as leverage in negotiations over a border wall. All of this is taking place as a direct result of Trump's command to get tough at the border. And what shows toughness better than mistreating little boys and girls?

The second claim, made most prominently by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, is that Romans 13 -- a biblical passage written by the Apostle Paul urging everyone to be \"subject to the governing authorities\" -- is an endorsement of the administration's hard-line enforcement of immigration laws. Sessions is effectively claiming divine sanction for the idea that people who break laws may be punished and deterred by subjecting their children to mental anguish. This is cruelty defended by heresy.

The Bible, like a gun, is a dangerous thing in the hands of a bigot. Segregationists and autocrats throughout Western history have claimed that Romans 13 covers oppressive or unjust laws. But the centerpiece commitment of Christian social ethics is not order; it is justice. For a good introduction to the concept, Sessions might read Martin Luther King Jr.'s \"Letter from a Birmingham Jail.\" \"A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God,\" King argued. \"An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law.\" And how should justice be defined? \"Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust.\"

Trump's immigration policy is a carnival of degradation. At one facility, hundreds of children have been confined (according to an Associated Press story) \"in a series of cages created by metal fencing.\" At another place (according to a Los Angeles Times report), \"children were running away, screaming, throwing furniture and attempting suicide.\" At a small shelter on the Texas border (according to The Washington Post), screaming toddlers were isolated from their parents and caregivers were \"not allowed to touch the children.\"

The controversy over family separation has accomplished at least one useful thing. It is an act of inhumanity by the Trump administration so gross -- so rotting, worm-ridden and hair-covered -- that many evangelical leaders have refused to swallow it. Even Franklin Graham, awakened momentarily from his ideological slumbers, has called the practice \"disgraceful.\"

This policy debate has also demonstrated the broad streak of extremism at the center of the Trump administration. \"It was a simple decision by the administration,\" explained presidential adviser Stephen Miller, \"to have a zero-tolerance policy for illegal entry.\" Simple. Simple if you are untroubled by nagging empathy. Simple if you are hardened against the temptation of mercy. Simple if you have lost the ability to feel anger when abused children weep. One gets the impression that Miller, Trump and White House chief of staff John Kelly regard the fears of migrant parents and the anguish of migrant children as evidence of a good day's work.

This is a contagion. In a recent poll, a strong plurality of Republicans (46 percent) supported the policy of family separation at the border. They have been given permission for their worst instincts by the leader of their party -- a party whose right flank is now held by the neo-Confederate protestors at Charlottesville.

Dehumanization has a natural progression. It starts by defining a whole race or ethnicity by its worst members -- say, rapists or criminals. It moves on to enforce generally applicable laws and rules that especially hurt a target group. Then, as the public becomes desensitized, the group can be singled out for hatred and harm. It is the descent, step by step, into a moral abyss.

The Bible, a rich and sprawling book, offers another angle on these matters. At one point in the New Testament, Jesus calls a child over and says, \"Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me; but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.\"

Sometimes those who invoke God's justice would do better to fear it.

"}, {"id":"397a98f4-be42-55e2-a752-fcfe10a0c4ed","type":"article","starttime":"1529303400","starttime_iso8601":"2018-06-18T01:30:00-05:00","sections":[{"columnists":"opinion/columnists"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Dallas Morning News: Where does Congress stand on asylum?","url":"http://qctimes.com/opinion/columnists/article_397a98f4-be42-55e2-a752-fcfe10a0c4ed.html","permalink":"https://qctimes.com/opinion/columnists/dallas-morning-news-where-does-congress-stand-on-asylum/article_397a98f4-be42-55e2-a752-fcfe10a0c4ed.html","canonical":"https://qctimes.com/opinion/columnists/dallas-morning-news-where-does-congress-stand-on-asylum/article_397a98f4-be42-55e2-a752-fcfe10a0c4ed.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":0,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"DALLAS MORNING NEWS","prologue":"Editor\u2019s note: The following editorial appeared recently in The Dallas Morning News. What is Congress for? It\u2019s a serious question, and one we ask now in context of the larger immigration debate that has been unfurling across the country for the past few years. In route to getting to the purpose of a Congress, let\u2019s do a short recap. Hundreds of thousands of so-called Dreamers have been left in limbo in regard to their status. There has been a directive by the attorney general on how to deal with asylum seekers. And the administration is implemented a policy that\u2019s separating parents from their children if caught crossing the border illegally.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":[],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"revision":6,"commentID":"397a98f4-be42-55e2-a752-fcfe10a0c4ed","body":"

Editor\u2019s note: The following editorial appeared recently in The Dallas Morning News.

What is Congress for? It\u2019s a serious question, and one we ask now in context of the larger immigration debate that has been unfurling across the country for the past few years.

In route to getting to the purpose of a Congress, let\u2019s do a short recap. Hundreds of thousands of so-called Dreamers have been left in limbo in regard to their status. There has been a directive by the attorney general on how to deal with asylum seekers. And the administration is implemented a policy that\u2019s separating parents from their children if caught crossing the border illegally.

We won\u2019t pretend that these issues are easy in today\u2019s politics. In fact, all of them are so studded with thorns that there has been a reluctance to push actionable legislation. But there is now a sliver of hope that action just might be forthcoming from Congress.

Next week, House Speaker Paul Ryan has promised to hold two votes on immigration bills. He made that promise to quell a rebellion among 23 members of his caucus who were nearly successful in forcing an up-or-down vote on a bill to extend legal protection, and likely a path to citizenship, to the Dreamers.

We understand that the bills coming up for a vote have something akin to a snow ball\u2019s chance in Hades, but one never knows what can happen if cooler heads prevail. In any case, we encourage the Speaker to make good on his promise to hold the votes because, at this point, it is important to make our lawmakers cast recorded votes so we can see where they stand.

In a sense, the most pressing issue is the status of the Dreamers. We\u2019ve supported creating a process to allow them to stay for a host of reasons, including the fact that they weren\u2019t the ones who made the decision to come here illegally (their parents did) and this is the only country most of them know.

But the importance of getting lawmakers on the record should not be overlooked.

The administration, under a new zero-tolerance policy, is now charging every adult who crosses the border illegally with a federal crime. The result is that as parents deal with that charge, their children are taken away and dropped into a federal system that is already overstretched.

Meanwhile, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has recently specified how asylum seekers should be handled. He offered the clarity Congress might have in saying, for example, that most people fleeing gang violence won\u2019t qualify for asylum.

Writing clearer rules and governing a system that handles the hard cases of humanity will always be tough. But then the job of Congress is to devise policies that can handle tough issues within the bounds of the Constitution and that adhere to the country\u2019s values. And to that end, we\u2019d like to know where members of Congress stand on asylum, on leaving Dreamers in limbo and on separating children from their parents.

"}, {"id":"9eb578c5-df84-5f44-83e4-ed8675c8a887","type":"article","starttime":"1529301600","starttime_iso8601":"2018-06-18T01:00:00-05:00","sections":[{"columnists":"opinion/columnists"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Milbank: Trump's America goes full Charles Dickens","url":"http://qctimes.com/opinion/columnists/article_9eb578c5-df84-5f44-83e4-ed8675c8a887.html","permalink":"https://qctimes.com/opinion/columnists/milbank-trump-s-america-goes-full-charles-dickens/article_9eb578c5-df84-5f44-83e4-ed8675c8a887.html","canonical":"https://qctimes.com/opinion/columnists/milbank-trump-s-america-goes-full-charles-dickens/article_9eb578c5-df84-5f44-83e4-ed8675c8a887.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Dana Milbank","prologue":"Donald Trump's America has taken on a Dickensian pall. The Trump administration floats a plan for tent cities -- modern-day Hoovervilles to shelter the growing number of migrant children it is detaining. A Honduran man fleeing violence kills himself in a Texas jail after U.S. authorities take his child from him -- part of a Trump policy of separating illegal immigrants at the border from their children.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":[],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"45b2105c-3164-5b98-8c28-5b842b8737d2","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"mugshot","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"600","height":"502","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/5b/45b2105c-3164-5b98-8c28-5b842b8737d2/5a722e53a5911.image.jpg?resize=600%2C502"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"83","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/5b/45b2105c-3164-5b98-8c28-5b842b8737d2/567c4bf4ed4a2.preview-100.jpg"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"251","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/5b/45b2105c-3164-5b98-8c28-5b842b8737d2/5a722e53a5911.image.jpg?resize=300%2C251"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"857","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/5b/45b2105c-3164-5b98-8c28-5b842b8737d2/5a722e53a5911.image.jpg"}}}],"revision":5,"commentID":"9eb578c5-df84-5f44-83e4-ed8675c8a887","body":"

Donald Trump's America has taken on a Dickensian pall.

The Trump administration floats a plan for tent cities -- modern-day Hoovervilles to shelter the growing number of migrant children it is detaining.

A Honduran man fleeing violence kills himself in a Texas jail after U.S. authorities take his child from him -- part of a Trump policy of separating illegal immigrants at the border from their children.

Immigration authorities force a high school senior in Iowa to return to Mexico -- the country he left when he was 3 -- where he is soon killed, his throat slit.

And in Congress, House Republican leaders fend off a \"discharge petition\" by Democrats and the meager group of GOP moderates attempting to force a vote on the Dream Act protecting children like the murdered teen.

Whatever the motives behind such policies, they have the appearance of abject cruelty -- not a good look for Republicans as they go into midterm elections.

Cue the compassion!

Thirteen House Republicans, party leaders and a few backbenchers in competitive races ambled before the cameras Wednesday morning after their weekly caucus, but instead of taking the usual partisan shots and performing the usual genuflections to the president, they spoke of their tender concern for the addicted.

Most held 8-by-10 photos of constituents recovering from or killed by opioid abuse, and they touted some 57 bills designed to ease the epidemic. The over-the-top, 20-minute show of heart resembled a telethon.

\"It's for the people in these photos that we rallied around bipartisan legislation,\" announced Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., holding a photo of \"Amanda.\"

\"We are united in doing everything that we can to help these families,\" contributed Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., holding a photo of \"Kristin.\"

\"Through our actions and bipartisan work, we will pass solutions that will help many families,\" inveighed Rep. Erik Paulsen, R-Minn., holding a photo of \"Keegan.\"

The likely next speaker of the House, Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., who invariably comes up with the wrong word, did not disappoint, promising to \"deal with every ability of this addiction.\"

Outgoing speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., with exaggerated emotion, spoke of \"America at its strongest, people coming together to help each other through these difficult times.\"

Puh-leeze.

There's nothing wrong with their proposals, per se. Most have broad bipartisan support and will do some good. But they are scattershot and incremental -- more campaign material than substance.

Public-health experts have pushed for a comprehensive approach to the crisis modeled after the Ryan White HIV/AIDS program. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, D-Md., have introduced such a plan, which would cost $100 billion over a decade. House Democrats are pushing for a $5-billion-a-year opioid response fund. But Republicans aren't about to let those become law.

And though Congress has approved $6 billion over two years in new opioid-addiction funding, this comes as President Trump has tried to scale back the two major programs that provide much of America's addiction treatment, Obamacare and Medicaid. (Trump's nearly $1.5 trillion proposed cut is, by coincidence, the same as the cost of his tax cut.) The latest assault on Obamacare -- the Justice Department's refusal to defend current law against lawsuits from GOP-led states -- could leave many more without insurance and addiction treatment.

Meanwhile, the news is full of ugly accounts about the consequences of the Trump administration's immigration crackdown, including reports about the tent cities for unaccompanied minors (McClatchy News), the \"dreamer\" killed after his forced return to Mexico (Des Moines Register) and the suicide of the Honduran father (The Washington Post's Nick Miroff). Vulnerable Republicans, seeking shelter from the gruesome consequences of the administration's actions, tried to force a vote on the Dream Act -- but conservatives prevailed. The House will instead take up alternatives next week that are unlikely to pass.

Ryan explained to reporters Wednesday why the Dream Act, which would prevail if given a vote, isn't going to get one: \"Last thing I want to do is bring a bill out of here that I know the president won't support.\"

This is why the show of compassion rings hollow: Republican lawmakers aren't willing to stand up to the source of their Dickensian dilemma. Rep. Mark Sanford, R-S.C., spoke out against Trump -- and lost his primary Tuesday. Rep. Martha Roby, R-Ala., once expressed concern about Trump -- and was forced into a runoff. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., who is retiring, complains his GOP colleagues won't defend their own trade principles because they don't want to \"poke the bear.\"

Republicans may be afraid voters will see them as heartless -- but they are more afraid of crossing Trump.

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\"The public will no doubt be surprised at the economic importance of this industry as (we measure) the impact of activities like boating, fishing, RVing, hunting, camping, hiking and more.\"

The speaker is U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. The industry goes under the broad name of outdoor recreation. It was a $374 billion business in 2016, accounting for 2 percent of the gross domestic product. Its revenues had grown that year by 3.8 percent, about 36 percent faster than the overall economy.

Without an environmentally healthy and accessible outdoors, the industry's consumers have no place to recreate. The Trump administration obsesses over how environmental regulations hurt employment in coal and other fossil fuel industries. Let's now look at how weak environmental policies destroy jobs.

In addition to slashing the budget of the Environmental Protection Agency by 23 percent \u2014 never mind the perversity of putting the ethically challenged Scott Pruitt in charge \u2014 the administration and allied Republicans are hot to turn over public lands to mining and other extractive industries. These include the very places that outdoors people visit.

Angry with Utah lawmakers for trying to shrink Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments for the benefit of these industrial uses, Outdoor Retailer, a huge trade show, moved its January event to Denver after two decades in Salt Lake City. Attracting attendees from around the world, Outdoor Retailer brought in $45 million to Utah every year.

Peter Metcalf, founder of Black Diamond, a mountain climbing and skiing equipment company based in Utah, was particularly incensed at his state's leadership. A stunning environment, he said, helped lure the likes of eBay, Goldman Sachs and Adobe to Utah. \"Now you want to be the Ebola state of policies that destroy (public lands)?\"

The U.S. Supreme Court's recent decision on an Indian tribe's fishing rights in Washington state underscores an obligation of government to protect the environmental capital on which livelihoods depend. In a 4-4 tie, the justices let stand a lower court's ruling that Washington has to fix roads that contributed to a 75 percent drop in the Skagit River's salmon population over 30 years.

The issue dates back to the 1850s, when the Swinomish tribe agreed to give up millions of acres in return for \"the right to take fish.\" This promise of a living off the wild salmon obligated the state to protect the resource from various interventions, such as the building of culverts.

Over at the giant fisheries on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, meanwhile, businesses responded with great alarm to the Trump administration's plan to open their waters to offshore oil and gas drilling.

\"It's really deeply disturbing to see a willingness to place at risk ... the renewable resources that are the cornerstone of the economy and people's way of life,\" the spokeswoman for the Alaska Longline Fishermen's Association told Alaska Public Media.

In Maine, lobstermen, fishermen, tourism officials and environmentalists \u2014 interests that don't always get along \u2014 united in opposing offshore drilling. \"Just imagine what a spill could do to our beaches, rocky shores, puffins, lobstering areas and our tourism and fishing industries,\" a spokeswoman for the Natural Resources Council of Maine told the AP.

The U.S. fisheries, including those on the Gulf of Mexico, employ 1.6 million Americans and rack up $208 billion in annual sales. And we haven't gone deeply here into how environmental degradation threatens real estate values and tourism.

Arguing for the spiritual and health rewards of being in nature \u2014 values that can't be counted in dollars \u2014 seems almost pointless in these soulless times. But if only money talks to the current political leadership, we have those numbers, too.

"} ]