What's a bigger threat, Russia or an undocumented mom?
President Donald Trump and the Republican Party act tough against crime when it's about an undocumented mom and her American-citizen kids. But that law-and-order resolve sure goes down the drain when it's about investigating one of their own's stunning lack of transparency over talks with a Russian ambassador, possibly undermining American foreign policy.
But why should that surprise us? From the start of his campaign, Trump's message has been about "criminals" and "rapists" coming from Mexico, and the constant need for a wall.
Jeanette Vizguerra, an undocumented mother of three, is among the first wave of immigrants seeking sanctuary in a church, terrified that she could be arrested under Donald Trump’s new “law and order” administration.
A report from the AP saying that Trump is weighing his options in mobilizing upwards of 100,000 National Guard troops to round up undocumented immigrants spread like wildfire over social media.
This caused an abrupt denial from White House spokesperson Sean Spicer. "There is no effort to utilize the National Guard to round up immigrants," Spicer told reporters Friday morning.
But as with everything coming out of the White House, it is best to see what they do, not listen to what they say.
We know that the Trump Administration has elevated former Senator Sessions of Alabama to the top legal position in the administration as Attorney General. Sessions' history when it comes to minorities and women undermined his nomination for a position as federal judge back in 1986.
We know that Steve King, who used to display the Confederate Flag on his desk, has also enjoyed elevated status within the administration, because of his strong position against immigration.
We know that Steve Bannon, the ultimate puppet master in the White House, has not only railed against undocumented immigrants but has said that the true problem is legal immigration in general.
We know that the Southern Poverty Law Center, a group that tracks hate groups around the country, has sounded the alarm on former executive director of Federation forAmerican Immigration Reform (FAIR), Julie Kirchner, being named chief of staff at the Customs and Border Protection, the largest federal law enforcement agency of the United States Department of Homeland Security.
We know that Kris Kobach, who has toured the country advising states on the implementation of laws like Arizona's SB1070, is a favorite within the Trump Administration.
We know that Trump praised an Eisenhower-era deportation program, Operation Wetback, in a debate during his campaign. Operation Wetback was a massive roundup of Mexican-Americans, many of whom were citizens, and dumping them in Mexico. This was a “repatriation” program that violated the rights of American citizens and has whetted the appetite of politicians and hate groups ever since.
The GOP continues to paint itself in terms of being a “law and order” party, but history shows that law and order is really a force multiplier against minorities.
Whether it is the war on drugs, which President Nixon used to tear through the African American community, or Proposition 187 in California, which sought to deputize all government officials as immigrant enforcers, law and order should be seen in the context of who these laws are targeting.
As former Labor Sec. Tom Perez, said in a tweet on Friday, "Mr. President: Instead of tearing apart innocent families, you should look within your own White House for the actual threats to our nation."
Even in the context of collaborating with Russian operatives who sought to influence our elections, the Republican Party has been largely silent.
Yet we see a continued insistence on “law and order” when it comes to families, many of whom are American citizens, who have a parent or child in the country that has been caught up in the immigration system.
Once again, we must ask, where are Latino Republicans and how long will they stand by as Trump continues to tell you not to believe your lying eyes? Is this really our biggest national and international threat? Will that be the GOP's legacy?
Whether or not this happens, the drums of a massive deportation program are beating louder within the White House.