Laura Ingraham compared migrant child detention centers to 'summer camps' as the Trump administration faces escalating blowback over family separation policy

  • 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.

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American radio talk show host Laura Ingraham arrives for a meeting with US President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower on December 6, 2016 in New York. / AFP / Eduardo Munoz Alvarez (Photo credit should read EDUARDO MUNOZ ALVAREZ/AFP/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 20: Political talk radio host Laura Ingraham delivers a speech on the third day of the Republican National Convention on July 20, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump received the number of votes needed to secure the party's nomination. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Cleveland, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Republican National Convention kicked off on July 18. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 20: Political talk radio host Laura Ingraham delivers a speech on the third day of the Republican National Convention on July 20, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump received the number of votes needed to secure the party's nomination. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Cleveland, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Republican National Convention kicked off on July 18. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
NATIONAL HARBOR, MD - FEBRUARY 26: Radio talk show host Laura Ingraham (R) makes a face as she goes on stage with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (L) for a discussion during the 42nd annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) February 26, 2015 in National Harbor, Maryland. Conservative activists attended the annual political conference to discuss their agenda. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, NH - APRIL 12: Radio host Laura Ingraham speaks at the Freedom Summit at The Executive Court Banquet Facility April 12, 2014 in Manchester, New Hampshire. The Freedom Summit held its inaugural event where national conservative leaders bring together grassroots activists on the eve of tax day. Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 20: Radio host Laura Ingraham attends The Daily Beast Bi-Partisan Inauguration Brunch at Cafe Milano on January 20, 2013 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Michael Kovac/WireImage)
NJ Governor Chris Christie arrives with talk show host Laura Ingraham to speak at the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) outside Washington, DC (Photo by Brooks Kraft LLC/Corbis via Getty Images)
Political commentator and author Laura Ingraham addresses the American Conservative Union's annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington (Photo by Brooks Kraft LLC/Corbis via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 18: Laura Ingraham visits Extra at The Grove on July 18, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images for Extra)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 18: Laura Ingraham (L) and Mario Lopez visit Extra at The Grove on July 18, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images for Extra)
WASHINGTON - DECEMBER 15: Conservative radio host and commentator Laura Ingraham addresses a health care reform protest on December 15, 2009 in Washington, DC. Demonstrators, many bused in from around the country, protested next to the Capitol building hoping to derail Senate health care legislation. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
THE VIEW - (7.12.11) Reality television star, Bethenny Frankel ('Bethenny Ever After') appeared as guest co-host today on 'The View.' Laura Ingraham was a guest. 'The View' airs Monday-Friday (11:00 am-12:00 pm, ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Heidi Gutman/ABC via Getty Images)LAURA INGRAHAM
WASHINGTON - JUNE 24: Laura Ingraham, Fox News Contributor and host of the Laura Ingraham Show, and Peter Kaplan, Editorial Creative Director, Conde Nast Traveler pose for a photo at the Washington DC Conde Nast Traveler celebration at Height's Courtyard - Washington Hilton on June 24, 2010 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Conde Nast Publications)
WASHINGTON - JANUARY 08: Laura Ingraham attends salute to Brit Hume at Cafe Milano on January 8, 2009 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/WireImage)
MAIDENS, VA - OCTOBER 07: Talk show host Laura Ingraham speaks while standing with U.S. Senator George Allen (R-VA) during his 11th annual 'Hoe Down' fundraiser October 7, 2006 in Maidens, Virginia. Recent polls show Senator Allen is in a close race for his Senate seat with Democratic challenger Jim Webb. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Laura Ingraham during US Comedy Arts Festival 2005 - 'Wag the Debate' Center for American Progress at St. Regis Hotel in Aspen, Colorado, United States. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 1: Ariana Huffington talks with Laura Ingraham and Mika Bryzsenski September 1, 2008 at the Nicollet Island Inn in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Scott A. Schneider/WireImage)
11/17/95 - Office of attorney Laura Ingraham, 1440 NY Ave, 9th floor One of several women we will be taking photos of for a conservative women story. - Photo By Robert A. Reeder TWP (Photo by Robert A. Reeder/The Washington Post/Getty Images)
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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:

Watch the clip here:

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