'You're a parent, don't you have any empathy?': Reporters blast Sarah Huckabee Sanders over Trump tactic of separating migrant families at border

  • White House reporters interrogated press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Thursday over the Trump administration’s family separation tactic.
  • One reporter asked Sanders whether she had any “empathy” as a parent of young children toward the families being split up by Border Patrol agents.
  • Sanders argued that the Trump administration has merely been enforcing the law and blamed Democrats for refusing to close supposed “loopholes” in immigration law.

White House reporters grilled press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Thursday, demanding answers on the morality of the Trump administration’s new practice of separating some migrant parents from their children at the border.

In recent months, Border Patrol agents have split up at least hundreds of migrant families under the Trump administration’s new “zero-tolerance” policy mandating that every person caught illegally crossing the border face criminal prosecution.

“You’re a parent, don’t you have any empathy? Come on, Sarah. You’re a parent. Don’t you have any empathy for what these people are going through?” CNN contributor Brian Karem said. “They have less than you do. Sarah, come on, seriously. Seriously.”

But Sanders brushed off his question, accusing him of trying to “get more TV time.”

The interrogation had originally started when CNN’s Jim Acosta asked Sanders about Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s use of a bible quote to defend the new policy.

Earlier that day, Sessions had fielded questions from a number of sceptical church leaders, who called the family separation tactic “immoral” and “harmful.” He cited Romans 13, about the importance of obeying the government’s laws, to justify the practice.

“I can say that it is very biblical to enforce the law. That is actually repeated a number of times throughout the Bible,” Sanders told Acosta at the press briefing.

When Acosta attempted to interrupt her, Sanders fired back, “I know it’s hard for you to understand even short sentences, I guess.” Sanders went on to blame congressional Democrats for refusing to close supposed “loopholes” in immigration laws that protect migrants throughout the asylum process.

Sanders added that the Trump administration was merely “enforcing the law” with its zero-tolerance policy, despite the previous practice of placing migrants in civil deportation proceedings, rather than criminal, which largely kept migrant families together.

“Our administration has had the same position since we started on day one that we were going to enforce the law,” she said. “I know it wasn’t something that was high on the priority list in the previous administration, but it is on ours, we’re a country of law and order, and we’re enforcing the law and protecting our borders.”

Watch a clip from the press briefing below:

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