“As a mother, as a Catholic, as someone with a conscience… I will tell you that nobody likes this policy". Really Conway? What would Jesus do?!
President Trump is getting lots of heat these days because his administration is overseeing an immigration policy that, among other things, separates children from their parents, if the parents are caught trying to get into the United States illegally.
To be fair, there is plenty of blame to go around on this one. Of course, first and foremost, it is cruel and heartless to take people who are already at the edge of desperation and make things markedly worse for them.
A Department of Homeland Security spokesman told The New York Times, “As required by law, DHS must protect the best interests of minor children crossing our borders, and occasionally this results in separating children from an adult they are traveling with if we cannot ascertain the parental relationship, or if we think the child is otherwise in danger.”
According to the DHS, from mid-April to the end of May more than 2,000 children were separated from their parents -- which works out to about 45 every single day.
On the other hand, let’s not pretend this is an easy situation, or there is an obvious solution, to all of this. For all of the apocalyptic talk we hear these days, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that America remains a place many people want to come to, and they are willing to take chances, risk life and limb, and even break America’s immigration laws to do so.
The only difference between today’s immigrants and, say, the desperate Famine Irish, is that there were really no federal immigration laws to break in the 19th century.
The problem with the Trump administration is not that they are enforcing America’s immigration laws. The problem is that they turned immigrants into scapegoats, boogeymen, the supposed cause of most, if not all, of America’s current problems.
It’s a move as old as the Know Nothing nativists who feared the Irish would turn America’s cities into secret outposts of the Vatican.
Anyway, Trump’s counselor Kellyanne Conway went on Meet the Press on Sunday and addressed the issue of separating children from their parents by saying, “As a mother, as a Catholic, as someone with a conscience… I will tell you that nobody likes this policy.”
Let’s for a moment ignore the fact that Conway did not say that Trump would reverse this policy. Even though it is apparently so offensive to her “conscience.”
Let’s also ignore the fact that Conway found a way to blame Democrats for this, and even managed to bring up that other boogeyman beloved by Trump supporters, Barack Obama.
For now, let’s focus on the fact that Conway (born Kellyanne Fitzpatrick) decided to bring her religion into this.
Oh, it’s certainly a fair point. The American Catholic clergy has generally been outspoken in its criticism of the Trump administration on a host of issues, including the dignity of immigrants and refugees.
The always-eloquent Irish American Cardinal Joseph Tobin of Newark even said that a delegation of bishops would be going to the Mexican-American border to witness the conditions children are being held under in detention centers.
Such a visit, Tobin was quoted as saying, would be “a sign of our pastoral concern and protest against the hardening of the American heart.”
And that’s really the bigger problem here: the hardening of the American heart, the normalization of things once considered simply outrageous, not to mention un-Christian.
Which brings us back to Conway nee Fitzpatrick. With the glaring exception of abortion, precisely what aspect of the Trump campaign and presidency is pleasing to Conway “as a Catholic?”
The part when he trashed Pope Francis? His multiple marriages and boasts about sexual conquests?
Say what you will about Trump, it’s pretty clear he goes about his business asking, “What would Jesus do?” before doing exactly the opposite.
Conway should think about this. You know, as a Catholic.