Dem presidential hopefuls seize on Trump border policy

Dem presidential hopefuls seize on Trump border policy
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Democratic hopefuls for president are seizing on the separation of children from their guardians at the border to blast the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy as inhumane. 

The controversy, which has received wall-to-wall coverage on cable news, has given the Democrats a chance to compete in criticizing the Trump administration while trying out appeals to Hispanic voters.

Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisMichelle Obama supporters urge Biden to pick former first lady as running mate Michelle Obama wishes Barack a happy birthday: 'My favorite guy' Harris endorses Democrat in tight California House race MORE (D-Calif.) generated a string of headlines when she became the first lawmaker to call for the resignation of Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenTrump's acting ICE chief to leave post Trump's fight with city leaders escalates Neo-Nazi pleads guilty to 'swatting' Black church, Cabinet official, journalists MORE, Trump’s embattled Homeland Security secretary.


Harris, 53, called Trump’s policy a “human rights abuse.” 

Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandBiden should pick the best person for the job — not the best woman Overnight Defense: Guardsman to testify Lafayette Square clearing was 'unprovoked escalation' | Dems push for controversial Pentagon nominee to withdraw | Watchdog says Pentagon not considering climate change risks to contractors Democrats urge controversial Pentagon policy nominee to withdraw MORE (D-N.Y.), 51, on Tuesday called the zero tolerance policy “an evil, dark thing” during a Politico podcast, while Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenTrump says government to review 5M Kodak loan deal Michelle Obama supporters urge Biden to pick former first lady as running mate On The Money: Unemployment debate sparks GOP divisions | Pandemic reveals flaws of unemployment insurance programs | Survey finds nearly one-third of rehired workers laid off again MORE (D-Mass.) railed against President TrumpDonald John TrumpMark Kelly clinches Democratic Senate nod in Arizona Trump camp considering White House South Lawn for convention speech: reports Longtime Rep. Lacy Clay defeated in Missouri Democratic primary MORE’s refusal to change course.

“@realdonaldtrump could pick up the phone and stop the separation of families seeking refuge in the US,” Warren, 68, wrote Monday on Twitter. “Instead, he continues to hold thousands of kids hostage to try and get Congress to pay for his stupid wall. This is his policy, and he can stop it.” 

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersLongtime Rep. Lacy Clay defeated in Missouri Democratic primary Hillicon Valley: NSA warns of new security threats | Teen accused of Twitter hack pleads not guilty | Experts warn of mail-in voting misinformation Schiff, Khanna call for free masks for all Americans in coronavirus aid package MORE (I-Vt.) sent an email to his campaign list of supporters to blast the policy, the third time in recent days that he has spoken about the issue. 

Earlier this week, Sanders delivered a speech on the floor urging Congress to take action. 

“The United States of America is not and must never be about locking up little children in cages on the southern border,” Sanders, 76, said. “And right now we have the opportunity and must take advantage of that opportunity to pass legislation to end that horrific practice.” 

Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerUSAID appointee alleges 'rampant anti-Christian sentiment' at agency OVERNIGHT ENERGY: EPA rule extends life of toxic coal ash ponds | Flint class action suit against Mich. officials can proceed, court rules | Senate Democrats introduce environmental justice bill Senate Democrats introduce environmental justice bill MORE (D-N.J.) called it a “shameful chapter in American history” and said the policy is “morally scarring this country.” 

“This is a low point for me as an American,” Booker, 49, said. “This is really one of the lowest points for me that is heartbreaking for me as an American to see my country engage in behavior that is so despicable, so morally reprehensible. … All of us should be hurting right now.” 

A CNN poll out this week shows that two-thirds of Americans disapprove of the policy of taking migrant children and placing them in government facilities. At the same time, nearly 60 percent of Republicans support the policy. 

Trump has repeatedly sought to blame Democrats for the policy, making an argument that a law requires parents to be separated from children. In reality, as Republican and Democratic lawmakers have noted, there is no such law and the past two administrations, led by former Presidents George W. Bush and Obama, chose not to separate families. 

“Democrats are the problem,” Trump wrote Tuesday on Twitter. “They don’t care about crime and want illegal immigrants, no matter how bad they may be, to pour into and infest our country, like MS-13. They can’t win on their terrible policies, so they view them as potential voters.” 

“We must always arrest people coming into our country illegally,” he wrote in another tweet. “Of the 12,000 children, 10,000 are being sent by their parents on a very dangerous trip, and only 2000 are with their parents, many of whom have tried to enter our country illegally on numerous occasions.” 

In a third tweet, Trump called on Congress to “change the ridiculous and obsolete laws on immigration.” 

“Get it done, always keeping in mind that we must have strong border security,” he said.