Orrin Hatch Knows Child Separation Must End, but Political Appearances Matter More to Him Than ChildrenPhoto courtesy of Getty Politics Features Immigration
First, credit where it’s due—unlike Ted Cruz and the rest of the Republicans who “want” to end the policy of separating immigrant children from their parents at the border (as opposed to the ghouls like Tom Cotton who make jokes about it), Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) has made an effort to stop this singular act of cruelty without treating it like a political football—which is to say, he is seeking a moratorium with nothing attached, and with no attempts to extort other concessions from Democrats:
NEW: Sen. Hatch tells @NBCNews that he is circulating a letter for Republican and Democrat Senators to sign calling for AG sessions to apply a moratorium on family separations at the border until Congress can act – @frankthorp
— NBC Politics (@NBCPolitics) June 19, 2018
Further to his credit, he insisted that the policy was wrong, and that contrary to Trump’s lies, the White House could fix it whenever they wanted.
There aren’t many Republicans with the courage to even go that far, so let’s take a moment to appreciate small deeds.
That said, Hatch is ultimately a coward like the rest—as he well knows, there’s a perfectly good bill in circulation that would immediately end the barbaric policy. It’s called the Keep Families Together Act, and it has the support of all 49 Democrats—even Joe Manchin, who at this point would quit the Senate for a career as Trump’s towel boy if somebody offered. The act would only separate children from their parents in cases where the child’s welfare was at stake, and that decision would not be the responsibility of Homeland Security or the Border Patrol.
But Hatch won’t support this bill, even though Democrats aren’t using it as a political football, and there are no strings attached. Why? Because, simply, he can’t be seen to join with the opposition. Politics and appearances matter more to him than helping children who are actively suffering trauma, and he’s just as guilty as the rest of his colleagues.