Former first Lady Laura Bush, Melania Trump Speak out against Donald Trump’s ‘Zero Tolerance’ Policy That Tears Immigrant Families Apart

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“The thought that they are going to be putting such little kids in an institutional setting? I mean it is hard for me to even wrap my mind around it,” said Kay Bellor, vice president for programs at Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, “Toddlers are being detained.”

By Crimson Tazvinzwa

Former first lady of the United States, Laura Bush, spoke out on the separation of families on the U.S. border on Sunday night.

Bush 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,” she added.

According to Bush, “These images are eerily reminiscent of the Japanese American internment camps of World War II, now considered to have been one of the most shameful episodes in U.S. history.”

“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,” she said adding that Americans pride on being the nation that sends humanitarian relief to devastated places.

READ MORE: Michelle Obama Seconds Laura Bush’s Criticism Of Child Separation Policy

Melania Trump also spoke out about the thousands of migrant children separated from their parents.

“Mrs. Trump hates to see children separated from their families and hopes both sides of the aisle can finally come together to achieve successful immigration reform. She believes we need to be a country that follows all laws, but also a country that governs with heart,” said Stephanie Grisham, Trump’s communications director, on behalf of the first lady, CNN reported.

LAURA BUSH
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.Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

However, top White House adviser Kellyanne Conway rejected the idea that Donald Trump was using children as leverage to force Democrats to negotiate on immigration and said “Nobody likes” breaking up families and “seeing babies ripped from their mothers’ arms.”

“The president is ready to get meaningful immigration reform across the board,” she said when asked if the president was willing to end the policy.

“If people really cared about them, we would figure out a way to get the funding to expand the centers and to close the loopholes, these loopholes are allowing open border policies,” she added, Business Insiderreported.

Read More: Trump Threatens To Cut Foreign Aid To Stop Illegal Immigration At U.S. Border

Attorney General Jeff Sessions had earlier quoted the Bible to justify the policy saying, “Illegal entry into the United States is a crime — as it should be. Persons who violate the law of our nation are subject to prosecution. I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13, to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained them for the purpose of order.”

On Sunday, Jesuit priest James Martin tweeted, “Like many, I’ve resisted using this word but it’s time: the deliberate and unnecessary separation of innocent children from their parents is pure evil. It does not come from God or from any genuinely moral impulse. It is wantonly cruel and targets the most vulnerable.”

Stephen Miller, a Trump aide, was the man behind the tough “zero tolerance” policy enforcing the separation of undocumented immigrants from their children at the U.S. border.

“No nation can have the policy that whole classes of people are immune from immigration law or enforcement. … The message is that no one is exempt from immigration law,” he said.

Rachel Maddow of MSNBC disagrees; “Decades after the nation’s child welfare system ended the use of orphanages over concerns about the lasting trauma to children, the administration is standing up new institutions to hold Central American toddlers that the government separated from their parents..

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Crimson Tazvinzwa

Teacher and media trainer based in the United Kingdom.

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