by WorldTribune Staff, June 18, 2018
Former first lady Laura Bush has joined the chorus of critics slamming what they say is the Trump administration’s policy of separating illegal alien children from their parents.
In an op-ed for The Washington Post, the former first lady wrote: “I live in a border state. I appreciate the need to enforce and protect our international boundaries, but this zero-tolerance policy is cruel. It is immoral. And it breaks my heart.”
“Our government should not be in the business of warehousing children in converted box stores or making plans to place them in tent cities in the desert outside of El Paso,” Bush wrote.
Columnist Cheryl K. Chumley wrote for The Washington Times on June 17 that “The former first lady is the latest to jump on the anti-President Donald Trump train to slam this White House over largely fabricated, media-frenzied stories of child separations at the border.”
Trump on June 18 tweeted: “Children are being used by some of the worst criminals on earth as a means to enter our country. Has anyone been looking at the Crime taking place south of the border. It is historic, with some countries the most dangerous places in the world. Not going to happen in the U.S.”
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen tweeted: “This misreporting by Members, press & advocacy groups must stop. It is irresponsible and unproductive. As I have said many times before, if you are seeking asylum for your family, there is no reason to break the law and illegally cross between ports of entry. We do not have a policy of separating families at the border. Period.”
Breitbart’s Joel Pollak wrote that “Democrats and the mainstream media have accused the administration of separating the children of ‘immigrants’ from their parents and imprisoning them in ‘cages.’ ”
Pollak noted that the facility at El Cajon, California “is not a ‘cage.’ It is a comfortable facility providing lodging, meals, clothing, medical care, education, recreation, counseling and other services.”
Chumley noted that “Under the catch-and-release days of Barack Obama, adults detained at the border would be released, allowed to drift off and mingle with the citizen population. But now, with ‘zero tolerance’ in effect, adults are detained – but the children they sometimes bring cannot be thrown in the same spot. They are separated for their safety, until the backgrounds of the adults can be verified. This is only sound policy; what if the children, for example, were being trafficked by those adults?”
Rep. Henry Cuellar, Texas Democrat, said in a June 16 interview on CNN that the Obama administration tried to cover up the number of unaccompanied minors crossing the border.
“It was kept very quiet under the Obama administration. There were large numbers of people coming in. The Obama administration was trying to keep this quiet,” Cuellar said.
Columnist and author Ann Coulter, appearing on Fox News, advised President Donald Trump not to “fall for the actor children” at the border and cited a New Yorker article describing children with scripts and coaching to make situations appear worse.
“I would also say one other thing, these child actors weeping and crying on all the other networks 24/7 right now: do not fall for it, Mr. President. I get very nervous about the president getting his news from TV.”
Coulter continued, “A New Yorker article … not a conservative publication, they describe how these kids, these kids are being coached. They’re given scripts to read by liberals, according to the New Yorker. Don’t fall for the actor children.”
A report by The New York Times noted that “In many cases, officials said, migrant children have been coached on what to say to make fraudulent claims for asylum.”
Trump on June 18 criticized Democrats for refusing to “give us the votes to fix the world’s worst immigration laws.”
White House Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley called on Democrats to meet with Trump to come up with a broad immigration bill.
“Ask the Democrats this question: We can’t deport them, we can’t separate them, we can’t detain them, we can’t prosecute them. What they want is a radical open-border policy that lets everyone out into the interior of this country with virtually no documentation whatsoever,” Gidley said. “They could come to the table and fix this immediately. They’ve chosen not to do that.”
Meanwhile, in her op-ed for the Washington Post, Laura Bush wrote: “Americans pride ourselves on being a moral nation. If we are truly that country, then it is our obligation to reunite these detained children with their parents – and to stop separating parents and children in the first place.”
The Washington Times’ Chumley noted that “Of course, a case could be made that this government has a moral obligation to uphold border laws for the safety and security of its citizens, too. But then again, making that case might put this White House in a positive light. Anti-Trumpism at all costs, it seems.”