Rosalyn Carter, the wife of former Democratic president Jimmy Carter, became the latest former first lady to oppose current president Donald Trump’s zero-tolerance immigration policy.
As outrage grows over the forceful separation of children and parents, a practice that has been termed barbaric by Democrats, Carter released a statement saying she has witnessed firsthand the trauma experiences by children who have had to stay separated due to circumstances beyond their control.
“When I was the first lady, I worked to call attention to the plight of refugees fleeing Cambodia for Thailand. I visited Thailand and witnessed firsthand the trauma of parents and children separated by circumstance beyond their control,” Carter said in the statement cited by the US media.
Weighing in on the Trump administration’s zero tolerance policy, former first lady Laura Bush on Monday penned an op-ed in The Washington Post saying “Separating children from their parents at the border ‘breaks my heart.'”
“I live in a border state. I appreciate the need to enforce and protect our international boundaries, but this zero-tolerance policy is cruel. It is immoral. And it breaks my heart,” Bush tweeted alongside her op-ed.
Former first lady Michelle Obama retweeted the article and added, “Sometimes truth transcends party.”
First lady Melania Trump, too, addressed the controversial zero-tolerance policy, saying she hated to see children separated from their families. At the same time, Melania also noted that US needed to be a country that follows all laws.
Melania’s communications director, Stephanie Grisham, told CNN: “Mrs. Trump hates to see children separated from their families and hopes both sides of the aisle can finally come together to achieve successful immigration reform. She believes we need to be a country that follows all laws, but also a country that governs with heart.”
On Monday, a heartbreaking audio recording surfaced that had voices of immigrant children pleading to be reunited with their families. The nearly eight-minute video was obtained by ProPublica, an investigative news agency, and it has voices of children crying for their parents at a detention centre.
The recording was played in White House’s news briefing room and Kirstjen Nielsen, head of the department that oversees immigration and border security, denied that what was happening to these children cannot be termed child abuse.
“We have high standards. We give them meals and we give them education and we give them medical care. There are videos, there are TVs,” Nielsen was quoted as saying by HT.