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The Week in White House Drama – the Immigration Backlash Continues

Immigration? I really don’t care, do u?

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This week was all about immigration. Attorney General Jeff Sessions gave an ultimatum, Ivanka Trump praised her father for fixing an issue he started, and the President himself only made matters worse. Plus, former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski mocked a child with Down Syndrome, and Melania Trump wore a jacket that was way too on-the-nose.

The Big Drama

Another day, another Trump administration misstep on immigration. This week served to be an even larger public relations nightmare than last week, as the Trump administration’s major players continued to look more tone-deaf on the issue of separating children from their parents.

The largest misstep belongs to First Lady Melania Trump, who went to Texas to visit one of the facilities where the government is holding immigrant children separated from their parents. While this gesture may seem to be kinder than the Trump administration’s stance on these children, all positives were erased due to her attire – she showed up to the site wearing a jacket that said: “I really don’t care, do u?” This jacket is an interesting choice by the First Lady, which prompted outrage, but it also shows just how incompetent the Trump administration can be – after all, how did the First Lady go to a photo op at an extremely controversial location wearing that jacket?

Many blame the staff rather than the First Lady herself considering she rarely voices a point of view of her own. This controversial faux pas is no different, with Melania Trump’s spokesperson and the President weighing in – with the First Lady herself notably silent. Even the statements by the spokesperson and the President are controversial, as they contradict each other, with the spokesperson claiming the jacket had no meaning, and the President claiming the jacket was an insult to the media.

Another very visible moment came from former Trump campaign manager and current Fox News contributor Corey Lewandowski, who had a vile reaction to the current immigration backlash. Appearing on Fox News Tuesday, Lewandowski responded to the story of a 10-year-old girl with Downs Syndrome who was separated from her parent’s due to the Trump administration’s policy on immigration with “Womp womp,” an ignorant and callous dismissal.

After his remark, Lewandowski continued to deny any sympathy towards the children being separated from their parents, questioning why he owed an apology to the children “whose parents are putting them in the position that is forcing them to be separated.” These callous statements are an unvarnished look into the mindset of the Trump camp, from the mouth of the President’s former campaign manager and current supporter. 

More Drama Bombs

Before the President has decided to roll back his policy on immigration, issuing an executive order that will detain families together rather than separating children from their parents, Attorney General Jeff Sessions took a more combative approach to the outrage. In response to the questions about the immigration policy, Sessions claimed that he wanted the President to fix the issue, and ensure that the children would no longer be separated from their parents. However, he also gave a controversial ultimatum, stating: “If we build the wall, if we pass legislation to end the lawlessness, we won’t face these terrible choices.” For many, this read as yet another attempt by a high-ranking member of the Trump administration to achieve the much-talked about and not very feasible border wall.

After weeks of tension over this immigration issue, Sessions was not the only person to miss the point. Ivanka Trump posted a tone-deaf tweet this week praising her father for fixing the policy that separated the children from their parents – the problem he created and endorsed until the negative attention made him back down. This is not the first controversial tweet Ivanka has made since the start of the immigration fiasco. Another poor moment showed her with one of her children as other mothers were having their children taken away, with little hope of getting them back. The Trump family really just needs to get off of Twitter, for all of our sanity.

Other Major Players

  • White House senior advisor Stephen Miller, the architect of the harsh immigration policies and much of the Trump administration’s more zealous policies, is staying out of the spotlight this week as many blame him for the immigration backlash. Both Democrats and Republicans are placing the blame on Miller, with some like Republican Rep. Mike Coffman calling for him to be fired for the “human rights mess.”
  • Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen was driven out of a Mexican restaurant this week by protestors after she spent the last few weeks refusing to apologize for her department’s skillful ability to lock up children in tent cities. What a charming lady.

Are you looking for digital journalism training and experience? Are you a journalism major who wants to take your career to the next level? CMN’s Digital Journalism course gives you real-time experience, intense feedback on your writing, exposure to journalism influencers and mentors, and a great place to display your work. You can get academic credit too. Check out the Digital Journalism Course here.

Rachael Blandau is a senior political science major at Centre College, in Danville, Kentucky. She enjoys writing about the news and her favorite topic - politics.

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