It is not just Melania Trump’s jacket that does not care.
While the world condemns the separation of immigrant children and their parents, Republican constituents support it.
Apparently, it is not just Melania Trump's jacket that really does not care.
While the whole world condemns Donald Trump’s zero-tolerance policy for immigrants entering the country illegally, which resulted in the separation of families and in the detention of more than 2,300 children without their parents, Republican constituents commend the action.
According to a CNN research study, two-thirds of Americans do not support the policy. However, among Republican constituents, 58 percent are in favor.
A recent Quinnipiac University survey, conducted after several images of crying children had been published, shows that the Republican constituents are not very sensitive to such issues – 55 percent support the zero tolerance policy, even when it entails separating children from their parents.
Among Republican politicians, the disagreement is even greater. For some politicians, the hard line on immigration issues is all they need to ensure a high turnout at the ballot boxes in November’s midterm elections.
Unlike Brazil, voting in the U.S. is not mandatory. And congressional elections, also known as midterm elections, have a lower turnout than the presidential election.
A mobilizing theme is necessary to convince constituents to vote in the midterm elections. And many Republican politicians believe that the zero tolerance policy for immigrants who have entered the country without legal permission is the appeal they need to make.
But the more moderate Republicans believe that the devastating images of crying children, and statements by celebrities such as Pope Francis who have called the policy “immoral” and “contrary to Catholic values,” might guarantee that the Democrats will win the majority in Congress.
This is because the most competitive districts are not those where conservative constituents who would vote for Trump no matter what prevail, but they are districts where those who decide are the more moderate or independent voters who believe it is unacceptable to use children as a bargaining chip to force Congress to pay for the construction of the Mexican wall.
Trump is so worried about the electoral effect and the optics of children being pulled from their parents’ arms that he signed an executive order halting family separation. However, this order will be legally challenged for violating the 1997 Flores court decision that prevents children from being kept in immigration detention for more than 20 days.
Perhaps the only solution to avoid family separation is to keep them together and to keep them free, with a commitment to appear before an immigration judge while their case is being analyzed.
They could be monitored with electronic ankle bracelets or even with mobile applications. The conundrum is that freeing all these immigrants goes against the premise of the zero tolerance policy – and that it might upset the 55 percent of Republicans who support it.