Monday, June 18, 2018
By Michelle Lou
Former first lady Michelle Obama neatly criticized the Trump administration’s child separation policy on Monday, breaking from the Obamas’ practice of (mostly) staying quiet about the current president.
“Sometimes truth transcends party,” she wrote, pointing to former first lady Laura Bush’s Washington Post op-ed in which Obama’s Republican predecessor criticized the practice of separating immigrant children from their undocumented parents at the border.
Former President Barack Obama retweeted his wife’s post shortly afterward.
Former first lady Hillary Clinton also backed up Bush’s criticisms against the Trump administration’s controversial immigration policy on Monday.
“What’s happening to families at the border right now is a humanitarian crisis,” Clinton said. “Every parent who has ever held a child in their arms, every human being with a sense of compassion and decency, should be outraged.”
Former first lady Rosalynn Carter spoke out as well, calling the practice “disgraceful” and “a shame to our country.”
“Americans pride ourselves on being a moral nation, on being the nation that sends humanitarian relief to places devastated by natural disasters or famine or war,” Bush wrote in her op-ed. “We pride ourselves on believing that people should be seen for the content of their character, not the color of their skin. We pride ourselves on acceptance. 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.
This article has been updated to include comments from Clinton and Carter.
By Deepti Hajela
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Monday called Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy that has separated children from their parents at the southern U.S. border "a moral and humanitarian crisis."
Speaking at an awards lunch for the Women's Forum of New York, Clinton said what was happening to families at the U.S.-Mexico border is "horrific."
"Every human being with a sense of compassion and decency should be outraged," Clinton said.
The separations stem from a policy that turns all cases of people trying to enter the country illegally over for criminal prosecution. Children are not detained with their parents when those parents are facing a criminal charge, as per U.S. protocol.
President Donald Trump has defended the policy, which has taken nearly 2,000 immigrant children away from their parents.
"The United States will not be a migrant camp and it will not be a refugee holding facility," he added. "Not on my watch," Trump said Monday.
Clinton, the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, said she had warned during the campaign that Trump's hard-line immigration stance would result in family separations.
"Now as we watch with broken hearts, that's exactly what's happening," she said.
The policy has come under increasingly strong criticism, with accounts of children kept in cages and parents not knowing where their children are.
Trump has falsely blamed Democrats, and his administration has echoed his stance by claiming it was enforcing the law, with some using the Bible as religious justification.
Clinton pushed back on all of those points, saying the separations are required by no law and grounded in no religion.
"The test of any nation is how we treat the most vulnerable among us," she said. "We are a better country than one that tears families apart."