CNN pundit Joan Walsh on Sunday called out host Brian Stelter for parroting the Trump administration's line that separating immigrant children from their families is an effective form of "deterrent."
Walsh noted during an appearance on CNN's Reliable Sources that Donald Trump had lied to Fox News viewers about border crossings being down 40 percent. In reality, crossings are up.
"It is a lie," Walsh explained, pointing to the news that as many as 1,500 children are missing in the United States' immigration system.
"While we cannot account for these children in our care, we are now cruelly adding more children, putting more children into a system that is obviously not keeping track of them," Walsh stated. "And doing the cruelest thing imaginable and pulling babies, little babies, from their parents."
"There was a mother crying as her toddler was taken away," she continued. "And she was given a yellow wristband to mark her as a mother that had smuggled a child. And that 'smuggling' of her own child is considered a crime... It is cruel, it is horrible and Trump is lying about it."
Stelter felt the need to stand up for the administration.
"Trump, [Attorney General Jeff] Sessions, will say, 'This coverage, it's working. It's having a deterrent effect. This is exactly what we want to make sure people don't cross the border,'" Stelter said, leaving Walsh appalled.
"That may be what they're saying," Walsh replied. "But, you know, shooting people would actually be a deterrent effect. Are we going to start doing that? I mean, really, where do we draw the line in our cruelty?"
"Hm," Stelter muttered before moving on to his other guest.
[Nicole add:] An important point that Stelter seems to miss in his defense of Trump's fascist policies, these parents accused of smuggling their children are NOT entering the country illegally. These are parents attempting to legally come into this country under our asylum rules at border entries, and this was not a policy practiced by any other administration. The ACLU has reported that due to FOIA requests, they have documented cases of admittedly horrific abuse by ICE during the Obama administration, but also admit that it was nothing to the scale of what Trump is doing now. Nor is his administration attempting to correct those wrongs, just adding to it.
There's a legitimate discussion worth having about reforming ICE policies (or if we need ICE at all), but if you're talking about traumatizing innocent children in such a horrific way as a deterrent to legal immigration, you need to check yourself.