‘Zero tolerance’

Fox News host blasted for saying child detention centers are ‘essentially summer camps’

Fox News host Laura Ingraham on Monday's episode of her show. (Twitter)

Fox News host Laura Ingraham is facing criticism after she defended a Trump administration policy that separates immigrant mothers from their young children by referring to the so-called “tent cities” being used to house the children as “summer camps.” Since Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the so-called “zero tolerance” immigration in April, more than 2,300 children — some as young as 1 year old — have been separated from mothers suspected of being illegal immigrants.

“As more illegal immigrants are rushing the border, more kids are being separated from their parents and temporarily housed at what are essentially summer camps,” the Fox host declared, referring to a report from The San Diego Tribune that had claimed one particular center had aspects similar to “a boarding school.”

The backlash to Ingraham’s remark was swift. And by the end of the episode, she acknowledged the reaction to the “summer camps” comment and backed away from it.

“Apparently there are a lot of people very upset because we referred to some of the detention facilities tonight as essentially like summer camps. The San Diego Union Tribune today described the facilities as essentially like what you would expect at a boarding school,” Ingraham said, adding that she would “stick” with that description.

She went on to say, “I suggest that a lot of the folks who are worried about that spend more time in Central America. I have. And 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. 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.”

Unfortunately, not all the detention centers are so equipped like boarding schools. MSNBC reporter Jacob Soboroff shared pictures of a former Walmart in Brownsville, Texas, in which small rooms were being crammed to the walls with four to five boys each. In recent days, images and audio of children being held in what appear to be cages have prompted shock and outrage from many observers — including the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, which has condemned the Trump administration practice for violating children’s rights and international law. In an audio clip obtained by ProPublica on Monday, young children could be heard crying and pleading for their parents as a man believed to be a Border Patrol agent is heard saying, “Well, we have an orchestra here — what’s missing is a conductor.”

President Donald Trump, meanwhile, has claimed that the policy is a “law” — which it is not — and blamed Democrats for its existence. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has also defended the measure — in his case by citing the Bible. All four living former first ladies have come forward to criticize the zero-tolerance policy with Laura Bush calling it “inhumane” and Hillary Clinton pointing out that it runs counter to the teachings of Jesus.

Watch video coverage of the story below.

Read the full story at The Hill.

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