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Chris Cuomo: Fox News pushing 'us versus them' mentality on immigrants

CNN host Chris Cuomo slammed Fox News on Friday night for the network's coverage this week of the Trump administration’s "zero tolerance" policy that led to widespread migrant family separations.

Cuomo blasted several Fox News anchors for “deliberately downplaying” the issue, saying the network was pushing an “us versus them” mentality.

“It’s designed to push this ‘us versus them’ political philosophy,” Cuomo said. “Painting migrants as dangerous folk, infesters, killers, gang bangers and drug pushers.”

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Cuomo acknowledged that some immigrants have crossed into the U.S. illegally "for bad reasons," but said the vast majority of immigrants do not represent a threat.

“Statistics bear out the facts and none of what they [Fox News anchors] are telling you about migrants in general, representing a threat physically, economically, it’s not true,” Cuomo said.

“This has never been about the facts, this is about the feelings. Politics of emotion,” he added.

Cuomo pointed to several Fox News segments this week that drew sharp criticism.

On Friday, “Fox & Friends” co-host Brian Kilmeade took heat for saying that migrant children “aren’t our kids.” 

"Like it or not, these are not our kids," he said. "Show them compassion, but it's not like he's doing this to the people of Idaho or Texas. These are people from another country."

Kilmeade argued that Americans were treating migrant children as if they are more important than "people in our country who pay taxes and have needs as well."

Fox News contributor Rachel Campos-Duffy on Friday defended the detention centers by saying “some African-Americans” told her the conditions are better than where they were raised.

“The detention centers are far safer than the journey that these children just came on,” she said. “I spoke to some African-Americans who say, 'Gosh, the conditions of the detention centers are better than some of the projects that I grew up in.’ ”

One company pulled its advertising from Laura Ingraham’s Fox News program after she said the child migrant detention centers were “essentially summer camp.”

The Trump administration announced its so-called zero tolerance policy in April, seeking to aggressively prosecute any migrant who illegally crossed into the U.S. via the southern border. The process led to more than 2,000 migrant children being separated from their parents as their parents awaited court dates in detention centers across the U.S.

The policy drew widespread, bipartisan condemnation, eventually prompting President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden holds massive cash advantage over Trump ahead of Election Day Tax records show Trump maintains a Chinese bank account: NYT Trump plays video of Biden, Harris talking about fracking at Pennsylvania rally MORE to back down on his administration's policy. On Wednesday, Trump signed an executive order to halt family separations, stating that detained immigrant families would be kept together as they await court proceedings.

The order did not address the futures of families that had already been separated before the executive order.