Seton Motley | Red State | RedState.com

Several outlets are reporting that President Trump is about to cave on the “family separation” issue:

President Trump abruptly reversed course Wednesday, saying he would sign an executive order ending family separations at the U.S.-Mexico border after a public uproar over his administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy.

The plan, as described by administration officials, would keep families together in federal custody while awaiting prosecution for illegal border crossings, potentially violating a 1997 court settlement limiting the duration of child detentions.

“We have to be very strong on the border but at the same time we want to be very compassionate,” Trump said at the White House during a meeting with lawmakers that was opened to the media.

Read the second paragraph really slow and aloud.

According to the New York Times, the actual plan is to get out from under the court order:

Mr. Trump’s executive order would seek to get around an existing 1997 consent decree, known as the Flores settlement, that prohibits the federal government from keeping children in immigration detention — even if they are with their parents — for more than 20 days.

But the president, furious about the pummeling he has taken in recent days, has been casting about for an escape from the crisis, people familiar with his thinking said. Officials at the Department of Homeland Security are preparing the executive order that is designed to end the family separations.

“We’re going to be signing an executive order in a little while,” Mr. Trump said Wednesday. “We’ve got to be keeping families together.”

The order would keep families together, though it is unclear how Mr. Trump intends to claim the legal authority to violate what have been legal constraints on the proper treatment of children in government custody, which prevented former President Barack Obama from detaining families together during a similar flood of illegal immigration two years ago.

This is not multi-dimensional chess, this is a retreat.

The only way it works out for the administration is if it drags out the court fight (and as IANAL I have no idea what it takes to overcome a “consent decree” made on the part of an administration nearly 20 years ago) and wins. It seems unlikely that the Democrats are going to cooperate with legislation now that Trump is on the run. And if it loses in court, then we are right back to the binary choice of catch-and-release or the separation of “families.” More importantly, none of this helps the GOP in November or Trump now.

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