The story of the Trump administration’s decision to prosecute every individual crossing the nation’s southern border without documentation to the fullest possibility technically allowed by law is continuing to unfold. As an implication of that policy, thousands of children have been separated from their families while the adults with whom they were traveling have faced prosecution. Many, including Democratic U.S. House member from California Ted Lieu, have spoken out against the system, and now, Lieu has shared how one unnamed restaurant owner expressed his support for those efforts.
On Twitter Monday, Lieu wrote:
‘My experience at restaurants: I ordered take out at a Greek restaurant. When I arrived, the owner saw me & threw in a free baklava (one of my favorite desserts). He said he appreciated what I was doing. I guess that’s what happens when one opposes ripping kids away from parents.’
The unnamed restaurant owner is a part of the majority of Americans who have been found to oppose the Trump administration’s family separations. Overall, a recent Quinnipiac University poll found that 66 percent of voters opposed the policy, with that portion including 91 percent of Democrats and 68 percent of independents. That group only included 35 percent of Republicans, with 55 percent of Republicans expressing support for the policy.
The broad public opposition led President Trump to eventually sign an executive order directing the family separations to end, but the effects of that order have been slow to pop up on the ground. Large numbers of immigrant children remain separated from their parents at this time; for dozens of them, the government says they’ve lost track of their parents.
Concurrently, a court order for the Trump administration to return all children under the age of 5 to their parents by Tuesday of this week won’t be followed; whereas in order to follow the order, 104 children would have to be returned to their parents, the government claims to be only able to return up to 56 children to their families.
BREAKING: Trump admin has only returned 2 out of 102 immigrant children younger than 5 who were taken from their parents. They say they can return 54 more by tmw’s deadline. https://t.co/PT28I5B85W pic.twitter.com/HJtOUIm3wv
— Alice Ollstein (@AliceOllstein) July 9, 2018
What’s clear is that individuals like Ted Lieu have had the task fall to them of attempting to pick up the pieces left after the implementation of the Trump administration’s haphazard immigration policy. Trump has been lashing out where he can in the absence of broad support for his proposed U.S./Mexico border wall; his administration announced the deployment of the National Guard to the border, eliminated consideration of most cases of gang and domestic violence from the asylum application process, and also implemented the family separations.
The moves have earned the president and his associates few passionate supporters.
Whereas Lieu was given some free food when he went to a restaurant, Trump administration officials like Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen and press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders have gotten the opposite treatment. Nielsen was confronted by protesters while eating at a Mexican restaurant in Washington, D.C., last month, and Sanders was, also last month, asked to leave a restaurant in Virginia over her role in the Trump administration.
Trump came to Sanders’ defense and called out the Virginia establishment on Twitter, but to say that the bigger issue here is the large numbers of immigrant children who have been separated from their parents would be a polite understatement.
Check out Twitter’s response to Lieu below.
Featured Image via Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call