Bannon on migrant family separation: Zero tolerance doesn't have to be justified

Bannon on migrant family separation: Zero tolerance doesn't have to be justified
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Stephen Bannon, former chief strategist to President TrumpDonald John TrumpNASA exec leading moon mission quits weeks after appointment The Hill's Morning Report — After contentious week, Trump heads for Japan Frustration boils over with Senate's 'legislative graveyard' MORE, said Sunday that the Trump administration’s "zero tolerance" policy on immigration doesn’t have to be justified.

“It’s zero tolerance. I don’t think you have to justify it,” Bannon told ABC’s “This Week.” “We have a crisis on the southern border but the elites in the city … want to manage situations to bad outcomes. And Donald Trump is not going to do that, he’s just not going to kick the can down the road.”

“He went to a zero tolerance policy. It is a crime to come across illegally and children get separated. That’s the law and he is enforcing the law,” Bannon added.

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The policy, announced in April by Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsAmash: Some of Trump's actions 'were inherently corrupt' 'Persuadable' voters are key to the 2020 election — and the non-screaming news industry Jeffrey Rosen officially sworn in as deputy attorney general MORE, seeks to prosecute migrants who cross into the U.S. illegally. The practice has led to thousands of migrant children being separated from their parents while their parents are prosecuted.

At the time, Sessions acknowledged the process could lead to such separations upon adults being apprehended.

Questioned on the morality of the immigration policy, Bannon said morality wasn’t a factor when enforcing the policy.

“The morality is the law. They are criminals when they come across illegally,” Bannon said.

Trump has claimed that the policy is in place due to Democrats' refusal to negotiate more stringent immigration laws, but the Trump administration policy has garnered widespread condemnation from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. 

Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas) on Saturday called the poicy "unacceptable," charging the White House with the responsibility to end the practice.

"This is clearly something that the administration can change. They don't need legislation to change it," Hurd said.