Opinion writer

The blood of decent Americans was already boiling because of the pictures and audio of children being separated from their parents at the border. Then came the Associated Press article Tuesday evening:

Trump administration officials have been sending babies and other young children forcibly separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border to at least three “tender age” shelters in South Texas, The Associated Press has learned.

Lawyers and medical providers who have visited the Rio Grande Valley shelters described play rooms of crying preschool-age children in crisis. The government also plans to open a fourth shelter to house hundreds of young migrant children in Houston, where city leaders denounced the move Tuesday.

This is moral madness, a betrayal of universal human values that marks the lowest point in the Trump presidency — or any presidency since the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II.

There is no point, ever, at which Fox News executives stop raking in money and sending their hosts out to pander to ignorant anti-immigrant audiences. (A patch of Fox TV and film talent is up in arms, some threatening to leave for another studio.) There is never a time when House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) says, “You know, my church and my conscience don’t allow me to participate in such evil,” or when anyone in the White House has the decency to quit rather than lie and help perpetuate the policy.

There surely is never a moment the president stops lying, because he refuses to take responsibility for the harm he is inflicting on children. The Post’s Ashley Parker reports:

Since Saturday, Trump has tweeted false or misleading information at least seven times on the topic of immigration and at least six times on a Justice Department inspector general report into the FBI’s handling of its investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server. That’s more than a dozen obfuscations on just two central topics — a figure that does not include falsehoods on other issues, whether in tweets or public remarks.

The false claims come as the president — emboldened by fewer disciplinarians inside the West Wing — indulges in frequent Twitter screeds. A Washington Post analysis found that in June, Trump has been tweeting at the fastest rate of his presidency so far, an average of 11.3 messages per day.

He is, unbelievably, getting worse, and there is no one in the administration willing to resist. Trump told the House Republicans that they should fix the problem he created, although he continues to back a House immigration plan that hasn’t a prayer of passing. (If the GOP-controlled Congress is in the palm of his hand, why didn’t he demand that a bill get passed days ago?)

There are plenty of signs that the public has finally had enough of Trump’s lying and the GOP’s inhumanity. A massive protest is planned for June 30 near the White House and in 132 cities across the country. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce issued a blistering attack on Trump’s policies. (“Thousands of children are being forcibly removed from their parents by our government. There is no other way to say it, this is not who we are and it must end now. Policymakers in Washington are accustomed to hearing the U.S. Chamber of Commerce opine about the economics of particular policies. But public policy is often also a reflection of a nation’s values.”) The chamber also took on revocation of temporary protected status for thousands who fled natural and political disasters and demanded a solution for the “dreamers.”

More evangelical leaders who had blindly followed Trump before are now speaking out to demand an end to the policy. At least eight governors (including two Republicans) are now recalling National Guard troops assigned to help with the border crackdown.

There is far more that can be done — from voters calling and showing up at lawmakers’ offices and appearances, to cutting off donations flowing to GOP candidates and PACs. From the pulpit, religious leaders can and should challenge their congregants to uphold their religious traditions; outside groups and individuals can decline White House invitations and meetings until Trump orders the policy stopped.

However this is resolved, the Republican Party has disgraced itself and lost the moral authority to govern. Anyone and everyone with an “R” after his or her name who did not condemn the policy and take meaningful action to eliminate it will be attacked for this disgraceful chapter. Really, should they be reelected for anything — ever?