Mike Murphy

“Trump administration falls short on first family reunification deadline” read the recent headline. Surprised? Shocked? Nope. Just follows the administration’s pattern of bad and/or dumb things happen quickly, good and/or smart things happen slowly or more likely not at all.

The arrest and separation of families as they cross the border with Mexico by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement authorities has dominated news for weeks. To no one’s surprise, President Trump magically conjured up the idea that it’s the Democrats’ fault, saying “We have to break up families. The Democrats gave us that law.”

It’s reported that the president has met with his advisers to strategize how he can also blame Democrats for Germany’s shocking early exit at the 2018 World Cup and the fact that Justin Bieber is back in the news.

Last week President Trump said that the solution to the immigration problem is to “Tell people not to come to our country illegally.” Details such as who exactly is going to tell them, along with when, where, and how were omitted.

Unnamed and nonexistent sources report that Trump illustrated his point by relating a personal experience: “You probably saw my picture on the cover of Time Magazine a week or so ago which, by the way, was like the 20th time I’ve been on the cover, more times than any other human being in the history of mankind (Author’s note: Richard Nixon, another beloved Republican president, holds the record with 55 appearances).

Trump continued his story, “Well, that little girl I’m talking to in the picture is 2 years old so you’d think she could understand what I’m saying. So I flat-out told her ‘You can’t jump in the river and swim over here anytime you darn well feel like it just because you want to go to Disneyland or something. We have laws here, and when people break laws here they get punished. And we don’t care who you are: poor people, the president ... wait, never mind all that.”

“So, you know what she says to me after all that hard explaining I did. She looks at me and says ‘Que?’ And I said ‘K? What does the letter ‘K’ have to do with it?’ See, there’s the problem. It’s like these people have a different word for everything.”

“Giving up, I shook my head, started to walk away, and thought ‘She’s another one of those bad hombres.’ Then I stopped, turned around and asked her ‘By the way, why aren’t you with your parents?’”

Due to a public outcry for the president to correct the situation at the border, President Trump is relenting. But it’s taking longer than expected to reunite the immigrant children with their parents. Why?

There are several feasible reasons given by the administration for the delay. Excuses like “Guatemala, Guacamole. El Salvador, Salvador Dali. It’s all so confusing!”

Yet there is one reason for the failure to make the reunification deadline not reported by the media, but which I’m aware of because a guy sitting next to me at the bar told me that his wife’s cousin who works down at the convenience mart read about it in a gossip tabloid. Not the one owned by the guy who buys stories about Trump’s alleged extramarital relationships and doesn’t publish them, a different publication.

Since thousands of migrant children have been separated from their parents or guardians due to Trump’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy, the president feels somewhat responsible. Therefore, he is contemplating a win-win solution for all those involved.

In an impressive humanitarian gesture, the president is considering ordering border patrol agents to display Mar-a-Lago Help-Wanted posters throughout the detention centers holding the immigrant family members.

Trump’s Florida resort Mar-a Lago recently filed requests with the U.S. Labor Department for additional visas to hire more foreign servers and cooks. According to The New York Times, since 2010 Mar-a-Lago has obtained visas to hire 500 foreign workers while rejecting the applications of hundreds of qualified American job seekers.

This is hard to understand since back in April 2017 President Trump declared his Buy American, Hire American Executive Order would “... protect jobs and wages of workers in the United States. We believe jobs must be offered to American workers first. Right now, widespread abuse in our immigration system is allowing American workers of all backgrounds to be replaced by workers brought in from other countries to fill the same job for sometimes less pay. This will stop.”

Apparently the president doesn’t want to allow “American workers of all backgrounds to be replaced by workers brought in from other countries to fill the same job for sometimes less pay” ... except at his Mar-a-Lago resort. Got that?

Perhaps the president could justify offering to reunite immigrant families by giving them jobs at his Florida resort due to the fact that they currently ARE IN America, and will likely be for a long time until he can sort out the mess he has created.

So rather than sitting around in detention centers swatting flies, the parents could be washing dishes and cleaning rooms at a swanky resort. And I’m sure that the president can find something for their kids to do, like, maybe water his palm trees.

Mike Murphy of Pocatello is an award-winning columnist whose articles are syndicated by Senior Wire. He recently published a book titled “Tortoise Crossing — Expect Long Delays,” which is a collection of 100 of his favorite columns. It is available on Amazon.com.