White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders turned the tables on former first lady Laura Bush over a scathing critique she wrote about the separation of families at the border.
Here’s what she said to Bush
During the White House daily briefing Monday, Sanders was asked about the missive Laura Bush wrote.
“Frankly, this law was actually signed into effect in 2008 under [Laura Bush’s] husband’s leadership, not under this administration,” Sanders responded.
“We’re not the ones responsible for creating this problem,” she added. “We’ve inherited it.”
“But we’re actually the first administration stepping up and trying to fix it,” she concluded.
‘This zero-tolerance policy is cruel’
The former first lady penned an op-ed in the Washington Post on Sunday, calling the separation of families at the border “cruel” and “immoral.”
“I live in a border state,” Bush said. “I appreciate the need to enforce and protect our international boundaries, but this zero-tolerance policy is cruel.”
“It is immoral,” she added. “And it breaks my heart.”
“Americans pride ourselves on being a moral nation,” Bush continued. “If we are truly that country, then it is our obligation to reunite these detained children with their parents — and to stop separating parents and children in the first place.”
How did we get here?
While much of the media is presenting the issue as if President Donald Trump directly changed immigration policy so as to call for family separation, the administration’s “zero tolerance” policy merely imposed the laws already on the books.
It is that policy of charging everyone who illegally crosses into the country with a misdemeanor criminal charge that triggers some families to be separated.
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen argued during the daily briefing Monday that it was within the power of members of Congress to change the law if they didn’t like it, and it was only within the power of the executive to execute the laws Congress had already passed.
“We will not apologize for enforcing the laws passed by Congress,” Nielsen reiterated on social media. “We are a nation of laws.”
We will not apologize for enforcing the laws passed by Congress. We are a nation of laws. We are asking Congress to change the laws.
— Sec. Kirstjen Nielsen (@SecNielsen) June 18, 2018
“We are asking Congress to change the laws,” she concluded.