As a relentless stream of horrifying images, sounds, and stories pour out of the facilities where immigrant children taken from their parents are being held, a new Quinnipiac poll out Monday found a significant majority of Americans oppose the policy of separating families at the border, 66% to 27%.
The same poll shows the opposite is true of Republicans: 55% support wrenching children from their mothers’ arms while 35% oppose the policy. (For comparison, 91% of Democrats oppose the family separations.) If you needed any more evidence that people who will describe themselves as Republicans are becoming more rabid, more racist, and more despicable, here it is. Most Republicans want to rip babies from their mothers’ arms. This position, madness to a majority of Americans, is widely held in one of our two major political parties. The Republican party is, by the numbers, evil—which may have something to do with the fact that fewer people are willing to identify as Republicans.
This reality makes it even more likely that the vast majority of Republican politicians will continue to support Trump’s policy, either explicitly or by continuing to hold kids hostage in hopes of passing a sweeping immigration bill. They certainly won’t act to stop it or put their careers or bodies on the line to help these wailing children.
Already, we have seen the supposed moderate Republican Senator Susan Collins refuse to support a bill that would end the practice, despite making noise about opposing the policy. Instead, she insists on comprehensive immigration reform, essentially participating in the same hostage-taking gambit as Trump. Ted Cruz, meanwhile, has proposed a bill that would end family separations, but also provide “expedited processing of asylum cases so that, within 14 days, those who meet the legal standards will be granted asylum and those who don’t will be returned to their home countries immediately.” This is likely to merely speed up the process of returning asylum seekers to the life-threatening conditions they fled, an objective the Trump administration has sought, too.
Don’t feel sorry for Republican politicians, though. Don’t fret about the impossible position they’re in, forced into ever-more extreme positions by their rabidly racist base. They chose this, and plenty of them agree with it, and functionally, the difference doesn’t matter. They can leave their jobs if they don’t like it, and they’d probably make plenty of money on K Street. They’ll be fine. It’s not like they’ll lose their kids.