Even Laura Bush thinks the Trump administration can do better with this whole immigration mess.
The former First Lady spoke out about the abhorrent zero-tolerance immigration policy Sunday night with a scathing op-ed about the “cruel” and “immoral” separation of families on the U.S. border.
In a piece for The Washington Post, George W. Bush‘s wife, who has rarely weighed in on politics since her husband left office, condemned the harsh policy that sees children separated from parents entering the U.S. illegally and penned in literal cages.
“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.”
Comparing the immigration policy to one of the most shameful actions in American history, the Japanese American internment camps of WWII, she continued:
“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. 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.”
Like so many others sickened by the inhumane treatment of these children, Bush argued that this immoral policy goes against the fabric of our nation:
“Americans pride ourselves on being a moral nation, on being the nation that sends humanitarian relief to places devastated by natural disasters or famine or war. 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 â€” and to stop separating parents and children in the first place.”
Between October 1, 2017 and May 31, 2018, at least 2,700 children have been separated from their parents.
While there’s no official Trump policy stating that every family entering the U.S. illegally has to be separated, there is a policy that all adults caught illegally crossing the border are supposed to be federally prosecuted — which makes separation inevitable for prosecuted parents, as children can’t be kept with their parents in federal jail.
In her op-ed, Bush called for “good people at all levels of government who can do better to fix this” — using the memory of her mother-in-law, former First Lady Barbara Bush, to illustrate the kindness and compassion we need to rectify this situation.
Recalling the moment almost three decades ago when Barbara picked up and held babies with HIV/AIDS, Laura wrote:
“My mother-in-law never viewed her embrace of that fragile child as courageous. She simply saw it as the right thing to do in a world that can be arbitrary, unkind and even cruel. She, who after the death of her 3-year-old daughter knew what it was to lose a child, believed that every child is deserving of human kindness, compassion and love. In 2018, can we not as a nation find a kinder, more compassionate and more moral answer to this current crisis? I, for one, believe we can.”
But we know what this administration does with compassion and kindness — it makes Sarah Huckabee Sanders absorb and crush all those emotions during press briefings so they don’t infiltrate the White House.