Tom Riggins: President Trump follows the law

There are two major issues to write about. The first is the Inspector General report on Department of Justice and FBI activities and the media full court press on immigration. Since the OIG report will still be discussed by Congress, I opted today for the immigration flap.

The media is becoming frustrated. Every attempt to bring Trump down has fizzled. Notice we don’t hear much about Stormy Daniels anymore? The new media attack is to provide photos of teary children and of supposed abuse in the child detention “camps.” When called out that the photos were actually from the Obama presidency, they weren’t even embarrassed. They simply stepped up their rhetoric.

So when you hear ad nauseum how Trump is cruel, insensitive, and heartless, here are some things you might not find elsewhere.

First, Trump has respect for the rule of law. This was evident when he waited for the courts to decide on his travel ban before he implemented it. All Trump is doing is enforcing existing law. He is not ignoring the law for convenience as his predecessors have. He is complying with existing statutes, which is his constitutional duty and responsibility.

He has said repeatedly that immigration law change must come from Congress. They enacted the existing law. Congress, however, in its usual spineless manner wants to distance itself as far as possible from the issue. It is much easier to attack Trump.

Second, the only legal choice has been to separate illegal alien families. When an illegal alien crosses the border, he or she is a lawbreaker. Like any lawbreaker, he or she is put into the criminal justice system. If an American citizen breaks the law, they are placed in detention, i.e. jail. The children obviously do not follow the parent into the same detention area. Why should illegals be any different?

Witness the left’s reaction when Trump enacted an executive order to keep immigrant families together, albeit in detention. That just created more media frenzy. Aha! Trump finally caved. But they didn’t want families separated. Now they don’t want them together in detention centers. Which is it? Apparently for the left only total capitulation to open borders is adequate.

Illegal adults are placed in an adult detention center. Separated children are placed in child centers. These centers are more like motels. In fact, several motels have been rented or purchased just for this purpose. Do you really believe the two should be combined?

According to Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjien Nielsen, of the 12,000 children in detention centers, 10,000 of those are there through legally seeking asylum. That leaves 2,000 children who have been separated because their parents entered illegally. So the total numbers are misrepresented.

Asylum seekers who follow the law by turning themselves in at legal points of entry are not being separated. Those who do not follow the law are the ones separated. The law says they can only be detained for 20 days. At that time they can be placed elsewhere or sent back where they came from. The asylum process usually takes more than 20 days. That is where the problem with illegal entrants arises.

Third, the Obama administration incentivized the family separation concept. His policy of “catch and release” caused illegal entrants to drag children along to aid in their (the adult’s) entry into the U.S. This brought about a huge increase in sexual assaults on children and their mothers when attempting entry. Is that not cruel?

Fourth, under the Obama administration, when illegal border crossers were put into the criminal justice system families were separated then also. These crossers were rarely prosecuted even though the law called for it. Neither the media nor Democrats cared much about the separations then. That strongly suggests that this political uproar is manufactured and coordinated.

Finally, illegal alien families are choosing to be separated by voluntarily engaging in lawbreaking. These illegal alien families, if they so choose, can stay together, simply by obeying the law. That is not difficult.

Those who do not have a choice in family separation are the American families permanently separated from family members when that family member is killed by an illegal alien.

As Steve Bannon said, “I don’t see the mainstream media and the liberal left embracing the Angel Moms, those people who were permanently separated from their children because of illegal aliens who came over here and committed crimes and killed people. You’re being very selective.”

Tom Riggins’ column appears every other Friday. He may be reached at


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