- Counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway told NBC “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd Sunday “nobody likes” separating families at the border.
- Almost 2,000 children have reportedly been separated from their families at the border over six weeks under the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance” policy.
- Conway called on Democrats to develop immigration reform. Trump has falsely blamed them for the policy.
Counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway said on Sunday that “nobody likes” separating families at the border.
She echoed President Donald Trump’s claims that it is a bad policy, but out of the administration’s control when NBC “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd asked if the president would be ending the policy that separates children from their parents after families cross the US-Mexico border.
Almost 2,000 children have been separated from their families at the border over six weeks under the policy, according to the Associated Press.
Instead of ending the policy, Conway said, “the president is ready to get meaningful immigration reform across the board.”
“Nobody likes seeing babies ripped from their mother’s arms, their mother’s wombs frankly, but we have to make sure DHS’ laws are understood through this soundbite culture that we live in,” she said.
Conway then outlined the various cases in which the Department of Homeland Security processes unaccompanied minors or separates a child from an adult after it determines the child is in danger.
“This is a perilous journey for many of these children,” Conway said. “If people really cared about them, we would figure out a way to get the funding to expand the centres and to close the loopholes, these loopholes are allowing open border policies.”
Conway continued, “What the president is saying is if the Democrats are serious they will come together again and try to close these loopholes and get real immigration reform.”
Trump has falsely blamed Democrats for his own administration’s “zero-tolerance” policy that says all adults who cross the border illegally will be criminally prosecuted while children are placed in US custody and held in detention centres.
The Trump administration has also previously cited these “loopholes” they wish to close as a means to stop illegal immigration, which would end the need for a zero-tolerance policy.
US immigration law does not require families to be split up at the border, and many lawmakers have called on Trump to change the policy. In a clip shown during Conway’s interview, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham said on CNN Friday that “President Trump could stop this policy with a phone call.”
Attorney General Jeff Sessions first announced the policy in May, explaining it was designed to be a deterrent to illegal immigration, saying, “If you don’t like that, then don’t smuggle children over our border.”