Fox News opinion host Laura Ingraham sought to minimize the controversy surrounding the Trump administration's enforcement of a "zero-tolerance" policy on migrants entering the US illegally.
On her program Monday night, Ingraham compared the detention centers where children who have been separated from their parents are being held to "summer camps."
Critics reacted strongly to Ingraham's comments.
Fox News opinion host Laura Ingraham sought to minimize the controversy surrounding the Trump administration's enforcement of a "zero-tolerance" policy on Monday night. That policy leads to adults being criminally prosecuted when they cross the US-Mexico border. Any children traveling with them are taken away to separate facilities.
Those family separations have led to thousands of children being housed in detention centers — some of which are warehouse-style facilities when the children are kept behind fenced-off barriers that resemble cages. Ingraham compared them to "summer camps" on her program Monday night.
Ingraham criticized the bipartisan backlash over the family separations, derisively calling it "faux liberal outrage." Critics have likened the rapidly growing child detention centers — in which some kids appear in pictures looking distraught and inconsolable — to a human-rights crisis.
Ingraham took a different view. saying they're "temporarily housed in what are essentially summer camps, or as the San Diego-Union Tribune described them today as looking like basically boarding schools."
The Fox News opinion host accused critics of the Trump administration's family separation policy of trying to use their outrage as a political weapon.
Homeland Security secretary Kirstjen Nielsen also moved to downplay the outrage during a press conference on Monday afternoon, calling the US a "country of compassion" while also seeking to justify the policy of separating children from their families.
Critics swooped in on Ingraham's "summer camp" comment:
I have a very different sense of what summer camp should look like for my kids. https://t.co/A78lGPNzb5
— Mo Elleithee (@MoElleithee) June 19, 2018
Probably my favorite summer was when I was four years old, and the government came and dragged me off to summer camp over the terrified objection of my parents. https://t.co/FT47UEN4r4
— Bryan Tucker (@BTuckertime) June 19, 2018
I dropped off my five year-old daughter this morning for her first day of summer camp. There were no cages or guns there. And parents like me knew they would see their kids again. https://t.co/DZQS0YW4z6
— Steve Simon (@MNSteveSimon) June 19, 2018
Watch the clip here:
Laura Ingraham calls child detention centers "essentially summer camps" pic.twitter.com/vJKzScv5Ia
— Andrew Lawrence (@ndrew_lawrence) June 19, 2018