The Wall Street Journal's editorial board tends to favor immigration for fiscal and business reasons, but on Monday night, the editorialists for Rupert Murdoch's flagship U.S. newspaper made the ethical and political case for Republicans to end President Trump's "zero tolerance" policy that separates children from parents at the U.S.-Mexico border. "Are Republicans trying to lose their majorities in Congress this November?" the editorial begins. "The party's internal feuding over immigration ... is fast becoming an election-year nightmare over separating immigrant children from their parents." The editorialists elaborate:
Trump officials are defending the policy as a deterrent to illegal entry, but surely they understand that separating parents from children is morally unacceptable and politically unsustainable. The immediate solution should be for the administration to end "zero-tolerance" until it can be implemented without dividing families. Congress can also act to allow migrants to be detained with children in facilities appropriate for families. Until that is possible, better to release those who have no criminal past rather than continue forced separation. [The Wall Street Journal]
Broadly, the editorial accuses GOP "immigration restrictionists" and Stephen Bannon of forcing the Republican Party to commit political seppuku. "The restrictionists don't want anything to pass because they want to use immigration to drive conservative turnout in November," the editorial board writes. "This is self-destructive politics. ... House control will be won or lost in swing districts where legalizing the Dreamers is popular and separating families isn't." The Journal appeals to Trump as well: "If Mr. Trump wants to lose the House and risk impeachment, he'll take Mr. Bannon's bad advice and keep giving Democrats a daily picture of children stripped from their parents."
Trump-agnostic New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd made a similar case by dubbing audio of separated children wailing for their parents over video of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen defending the program. Peter Weber
— Maureen Dowd (@maureendowd) June 18, 2018