Under intense pressure from the mainstream media and conservatives, the Obama administration refused to put a thumb on the scale against the unaccompanied minors who have flooded across the border, until they did. One of the big pieces of “news” to come out of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson’s Meet the Press interview was his alleged evasiveness over whether most of the children being screamed at by racists will be sent packing.
In an absurd exchange with David Gregory, Johnson patiently explained that the law requires children from Central America to be given their day in immigration court, and the administration is looking for ways to expedite that process, to which Gregory responded, “Well, I’m sorry, I have to– I mean it sounds like a very careful response.”
Yes, what kind of person would want to give a careful response to a question about legal proceedings affecting the lives and safety of tens of thousands of children?
Gregory then decided to demand that Secretary Johnson become either Miss Clio or King of the Immigration Judges, or both:
“Are they going to be deported or not? I mean this is the bottom line. I know there’s a process they have to go through. Will most of these children that we have seen in this desperate situation stay in America or will they be returned to their homes in Central America?”
The nuance in Jeh Johnson’s response isn’t that difficult to grasp. “There is a deportation proceeding pending against everyone who comes into this country illegally and is apprehended at the border” means we will try to deport all of them, but theoretically, the goal is to only deport those whom judges decide ought to be, and not those who have legitimate claims of asylum. It would be improper for Johnson to prejudge those proceedings, and perhaps even influence those judges with the sort of declaration Gregory was looking for.
Of course, the headline here was “Johnson Evasive,” or more pointedly, “Gregory Presses Johnson” (which, incidentally, is against several planks in the Republican Party platform), but on Monday morning’s The Daily Rundown, MSNBC’s Chuck Todd, whose keen interest and expertise in immigration extend back to his Miami roots, did an excellent job of explaining it, until he didn’t…READ MORE