- Fox News opinion host Laura Ingraham sought to minimise the controversy surrounding the Trump administration’s enforcement of a “zero-tolerance” policy on migrants entering the US illegally.
- On her program Monday night, Ingraham compared the detention centres where children who have been separated from their parents are being held to “summer camps.”
- Critics reacted strongly to Ingraham’s comments.
Fox News opinion host Laura Ingraham sought to minimise the controversy surrounding the Trump administration’s enforcement of a “zero-tolerance” policy on Monday night. That policy leads to adults being criminally prosecuted when they cross the US-Mexico border. Any children travelling with them are taken away to separate facilities.
Those family separations have led to thousands of children being housed in detention centres – some of which are warehouse-style facilities when the children are kept behind fenced-off barriers that resemble cages. Ingraham compared them to “summer camps” on her program Monday night.
Ingraham criticised the bipartisan backlash over the family separations, derisively calling it “faux liberal outrage.” Critics have likened the rapidly growing child detention centres – in which some kids appear in pictures looking distraught and inconsolable – to a human-rights crisis.
Ingraham took a different view. saying they’re “temporarily housed in what are essentially summer camps, or as the San Diego-Union Tribune described them today as looking like basically boarding schools.”
The Fox News opinion host accused critics of the Trump administration’s family separation policy of trying to use their outrage as a political weapon.
Homeland Security secretary Kirstjen Nielsen also moved to downplay the outrage during a press conference on Monday afternoon, calling the US a “country of compassion” while also seeking to justify the policy of separating children from their families.
Critics swooped in on Ingraham’s “summer camp” comment:
Yep. I had fun at summer camp, not lasting psychological damage
— Sarah Rappaport (@SarahRapp) June 19, 2018
I have a very different sense of what summer camp should look like for my kids. https://t.co/A78lGPNzb5
— Mo Elleithee (@MoElleithee) June 19, 2018
Probably my favorite summer was when I was four years old, and the government came and dragged me off to summer camp over the terrified objection of my parents. https://t.co/FT47UEN4r4
— Bryan Tucker (@BTuckertime) June 19, 2018
I dropped off my five year-old daughter this morning for her first day of summer camp. There were no cages or guns there. And parents like me knew they would see their kids again. https://t.co/DZQS0YW4z6
— Steve Simon (@MNSteveSimon) June 19, 2018
Following the backlash, Ingraham addressed her comments on Fox News: “Apparently there are a lot of people very upset because we referred to some of the detention facilities tonight as essentially like summer camps,” Ingraham said on Monday evening. “The ‘San Diego Union Tribune’ today described the facilities as essentially like what you would expect at a boarding school.”
“So I will stick to there are some of them like boarding schools,” Ingraham said. “And I suggest that a lot of the folks who are worried about that spend more time in Central America. I have.”
Ingraham, who adopted a girl from Guatemala in 2008, also noted deficiencies in other US policies.
“We should make adoption easier for American couples who want to adopt these kids who are true candidates for adoption because our policies don’t allow that,” Ingraham added. “So let’s put our hearts out there for the kids in the right way. Take care of them the right way. Open your hearts and your homes to them.”
Watch the clip here:
Laura Ingraham calls child detention centers "essentially summer camps" pic.twitter.com/vJKzScv5Ia
— Andrew Lawrence (@ndrew_lawrence) June 19, 2018
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