Our despotic, dissembling firehose.
Our despotic, dissembling firehose. NATE GOWDY

Over the weekend the President repeated the lie that a law passed by Democrats forces his administration to separate parents from their children at the border. Then yesterday, Kirstjen Nielsen, who will keep her position as the head of the Department of Homeland Security so long as she keeps arrest rates at the border high, contradicted the President while trying to defend him when she said the administration doesn't have a policy of separating families at the border, "period." And then this morning, Trump tweeted a string of lies about rising crime in Germany due to the country's policy on immigration wherein he again blamed Democrats for his family separation strategy.

All of this, of course, is bullshit.

First of all, "Crime" in Germany is the lowest it's been since 1992.

No Democratic law forces Border Patrol to separate children from their parents at the border. As everyone has already reported a million times, in April, Attorney General Jeff Sessions instituted a "zero tolerance" policy criminalizing border crossings. Instead of being caught, screened, and released until their court date, parents get shipped off to prison while they're children get sent to warehouses full of cages and foil blankets near the border. While Sessions didn't say "we have a new policy of separating families at the border," he did say "if you are smuggling a child, then we will prosecute you and that child will be separated from you as required by law," which results in families being separated at the border.

In her Tweetstorm, Nielsen says applying for asylum isn't illegal, but she conveniently left out a couple things. Last week Sessions raised the bar for asylum claims, saying applicants could no longer claim domestic abuse and gang violence as reasons for seeking asylum. According to Kathryn Shepherd, a lawyer for the Immigration Justice campaign at the American Immigration Council, these restrictions make it "nearly impossible" to be granted asylum. Also, the New York Times reports that Border Patrol is turning away asylum seekers "for days or longer."

In disseminating all of this nonsense, members of the administration have revealed their ultimate goal: they're tearing these families apart and holding children hostage to pressure Democrats into signing onto a draconian House immigration bill that may or may not come to the floor this week, and which Democrats say they won't support. This baldly xenophobic Stephen Miller/Jeff Sessions special is a cruel act of political brinksmanship that has already potentially traumatized 2,000 kids.

The President underwrites this practice, and so does every single Republican in Congress who isn't calling for Sessions to stop prosecuting border crossing as a criminal offense.

In the Senate, Sen. Dianne Feinstein proposed a bill that would end this barbaric "deterrent" strategy. So far, zero Republicans have signed on.