White House promises immigration policy announcement, Trump delivers lie-laden anti-immigrant rant
When the White House told news networks Donald Trump planned to make an important policy announcement regarding asylum Thursday afternoon, CNN chose to take it live, while MSNBC decided to fact-check it first and run whatever news came out of Trump’s “announcement” later. MSNBC chose smart.
Trump repackaged his rant-filled stadium stump speech about the “invasion” of migrants weeks away from our southern border and delivered it from the White House. He issued no proclamation, no rule, no executive order, and what exactly the new policy would be wasn’t even clear. Bottom line: This was nothing but a midterm political stunt.
What he did say is that if you cross border illegally and apply for asylum, you will be “held”—which already happens in some cases when people turn themselves over to authorities. Perhaps the administration plans to increase the frequency and duration of holding asylum seekers, though that wasn’t exactly clear. If there was one startling piece of news, it was this: Trump said the U.S. military would treat rock-throwing by the migrants—if that even happens—as though it was use of a firearm. Throwing of stones and rocks, Trump said, “We will consider that a firearm.” (From the pool report: “They want to throw rocks at our military, our military fights back. I told them to consider it a rifle.”) Again, it’s not even clear there will be any violence at the border, since individuals are coming to seek asylum, not stage an altercation.