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Kildee: Silence on separating migrant kids from parents equals complicity

Detainees being housed inside fenced rooms at a government facility.
U.S. Customs and Border Patrol
Detainees being housed inside fenced rooms at a government facility.

The Trump administration's zero-tolerance border policy has meant some 2,000 migrant children have been taken away from their families.

A new Quinnipiac Poll finds only 27 percent of Americans surveyed back the president's policy. And even as some in the GOP are urging Trump to change course, he is doubling down and blaming Democrats.

Michigan Radio's Stateside asked members of Michigan's congressional delegation if they support the president's policy of separating migrant children from their parents at the border, and isolating them in camps, shelters, and tent cities.

Eight of the nine Republicans did not respond: David Trott, Paul Mitchell, Jack Bergman, Bill Huizenga, John Moolenar, Fred Upton, Tim Walberg, and Mike Bishop.

Democratic Congressman Dan Kildee said the silence is as morally wrong as the policy itself.

"Silence supports the separation of children from their parents," Kildee told Stateside's Cynthia Canty. "If they are silent, they are endorsing this policy."

Justin Amash was the only Republican to respond to Michigan Radio's statement request. He sent a tweet on the subject from May 26:

Democratic members of Congress Debbie Dingell, Brenda Lawrence, and Sander Levin have also condemned the policy as morally wrong.

Rep. Kildee also told Stateside that President Trump's claims of blaming the policy on Democrats means "he is either lying or he's stupid."

"It's morally reprehansible, and I think anyone, anyone who looks at this, including independent fact-checkers, will see that this is a policy of Donald Trump," said Kildee. "It's a policy that he crafted and that his administration is enacting. And for him to imply that somehow he's bound by law to rip a child out of the arms of its mother is insanity. It's just pure insanity."

Listen to the full interview with Rep. Kildee above

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Public. She began her career at Michigan Public as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.
Stateside is produced daily by a dedicated group of producers and production assistants. Listen daily, on-air, at 3 and 8 p.m., or subscribe to the daily podcast wherever you like to listen.
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