- Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Monday night appeared on Fox News, where the host Laura Ingraham prompted him to address comparisons between the Trump administration’s family-separation policy at the US-Mexico border and Nazi Germany.
- Sessions rebuked criticism likening the administration’s policies to something resembling the treatment of Jewish people in Germany during the 1940s.
- “It’s a real exaggeration,” Sessions said Monday night. “In Nazi Germany, they would keep the Jews from leaving the country.”
- When Ingraham asked whether the family separations were being used as a deterrent to illegal immigration, Sessions said, “Yes, hopefully people will get the message and come through the border at the port of entry and not break across the border unlawfully.”
Attorney General Jeff Sessions appeared on Fox News on Monday night to discuss the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy, which has drawn criticism because it has caused children to be separated from their parents when families cross the US-Mexico border illegally.
Some critics had even made comparisons to Nazi Germany to highlight what they described as the callous nature of a policy that splits up families often seeking refuge in the US.
During an interview with the Fox News opinion host Laura Ingraham, Sessions rebuked the criticism: “It’s a real exaggeration,” Sessions said. “In Nazi Germany, they would keep the Jews from leaving the country.”
That comment sparked some additional conversation online overnight. “When you have to explain to people why your policies aren’t exactly like Nazi Germany, it’s time to rethink your policies,” Renato Mariotti, the former federal prosecutor who is now a CNN legal analyst, said.
Sessions argued that immigrants seeking asylum would be given due process according to the law, but he quickly pivoted to argue against a different cause of illegal immigration.
“People who want economic migration for their own personal financial benefit and what they think is their family’s benefit is not basis for a claim of asylum,” Sessions said. When asked during the Fox News interview whether family separations were being used as a deterrent to illegal immigration, Sessions acknowledged that they were.
“Yes, hopefully people will get the message and come through the border at the port of entry and not break across the border unlawfully,” Sessions told Ingraham.
Just hours earlier, a reporter asked Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen whether the department was “intending to send a message” with its family-separation policy. Nielsen called that question “offensive.”
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