Stop breaking up families at the border

House Speaker Paul Ryan says he wants to stop the mass separation of children from their families along the border, but his bid to fix it is pathetic. And President Trump’s claim that Democrats need to change the relevant law is no better.

The immediate cause of the crisis is Team Trump’s decision to start prosecuting illegal border-crossers, rather than simply deporting them. Because the law severely limits how long the feds can detain the children, immigration officials on the ground then have no choice but to break up the families.

Ryan’s answer is to stick a change of the law into the two big immigration bills he has the House voting on this week. But there’s no way the Senate will pass either one — indeed, not much chance the House will.

Anyway, making it so Immigration and Customs Enforcement can detain the kids along with their parents is only a minor improvement — since ICE is already running out of space to hold people, and looking at “tent cities” as a supposedly-temporary expedient.

You can bet that critics will start calling these “Trump’s concentration camps,” and the term will catch on if they’re full of kids.

The polls were starting to suggest that Republicans might not lose big in this November’s midterm elections, but they’ll turn back the other way if this keeps up — and rightly so.

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