Hugh Hewitt to Trump: 'It is 100 percent wrong to separate border-crossing families'

Hugh Hewitt to Trump: 'It is 100 percent wrong to separate border-crossing families'

Conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt on Friday called on President TrumpDonald John TrumpBrennan fires new shot at Trump: ‘He’s drunk on power’ Trump aides discussed using security clearance revocations to distract from negative stories: report Trump tried to dissuade Melania from 'Be Best' anti-bullying campaign: report MORE to end family separation at the U.S. southern border, arguing that the detainments are “100% wrong.”

The commentary from the nationally-syndicated radio personality and MSNBC host comes as the administration faces increased blowback for enforcing a “zero tolerance” policy by criminally prosecuting migrants entering the country illegally for the first time.

ADVERTISEMENT

Hewitt argued that detaining these individuals is not a "result of the rule of law" but a choice of the Department of Justice in "how to charge and how to detain."

"Family separation is not the result of law but the [Department of Justice's] DOJ’s choice concerning how to charge and how to detain. It is possible to both detain families pending adjudication and keep them together. Please direct the [attorney general] AG to make it so. It won’t interfere with border security and it will in fact increase support for @realDonaldTrump proposals re border security, wrote Hewitt on Twitter. 

"This is a 95% negative issue because it is 100% wrong to separate border-crossing families, especially infants, toddlers, and young children but actually all families. You can change this," he added.

The “zero tolerance” policy was unveiled by Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsSentencing reform deal heats up, pitting Trump against reliable allies Hill.TV poll: 41 percent of Americans want Mueller to wrap up probe before midterms The Hill's Morning Report: Dems have a majority in the Senate (this week) MORE last month when he said, “If you cross the border unlawfully, then we will prosecute you. It’s that simple.”

The policy instructs the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to separate any child crossing the U.S.-Mexico border between ports of entry with adults before those adults are prosecuted. It is carried out even if a migrant is seeking asylum.

The Associated Press reported on Friday that, as a result of the policy, about 2,000 children have been separated from their families at the U.S.-Mexico border over a six-week time period.

The report, which cites figures obtained from DHS, says that from April 19 through May 31, 1,995 minors were separated from 1,940 adults. 

The policy has received pushback from both sides of the aisle, with Senate Democrats introducing a bill to prevent the separations and Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanNew Dem ad uses Paterno, KKK, affair allegations to tar GOP leaders House Dem: Party's aging leaders is 'a problem' Rand Paul to ask Trump to lift sanctions on Russian leaders MORE (R-Wis.) saying he was opposed to the practice.

Trump has regularly blamed Democrats for the practice, doing so again Friday in a “Fox & Friends” interview from the White House lawn.

Trump said he “hates” the policy, and claimed the Democrats could change the “law” if they voted with Republicans on immigration reform.

“Democrats forced that law on the nation,” he said.

Immigration measures were front and center on Friday as the White House said Trump misspoke in the “Fox & Friends” interview when he said he would oppose a compromise GOP immigration bill.

An official told The Hill that he would, in fact, back either of the GOP immigration bills expected to receive votes next week. 

Democrats aren't being included in the drafting of the bill. Sen. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinSentencing reform deal heats up, pitting Trump against reliable allies The Hill's 12:30 Report Democrats question if Kavanaugh lied about work on terrorism policy MORE (D-Ill.) said Friday the measure wouldn't receive one vote from his party when taken to the floor.