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Senator Tammy Baldwin: “It’s as Though the United States Government Has Just Kidnapped 2,000 Children”

United States Senator Tammy Baldwin from Wisconsin appeared on Late Night with Seth Meyers to talk about Donald Trump’s role in the separation of parents and their children at the border, and the position that has put Congress in. Baldwin, like many, are horrified by the situation and the President’s apparent lack of concern.

You’ve likely seen the argument that Trump and his supporters have attempted to push: blaming the Democrats. This leads to his supporters (like his daughter Ivanka) thanking him for taking action of family separation without any regard for the fact that he caused it or the fact that he hasn’t even come close to fixing it. Baldwin isn’t having any of that blame deflection.

“Well, first of all, it’s not unusual for this president to blame others for problems that he had a big hand in creating”, says Baldwin. “And, so, just to be clear, he created a policy a month ago back in May, his zero-tolerance policy, and that policy resulted in what we’ve just watched, aghast on our televisions and in discussions. It’s been heartbreaking.”

The Senator continues, criticizing his executive order which does absolutely nothing for existing cases. “We’re all waiting like, ‘Oh, is he gonna reverse this? Has he finally acknowledged that this was immoral and that he needs to do something about it?’ And then we read the details. And, of course, it doesn’t address the over 2,000 children who are already separated from their parents. And it doesn’t, I mean, it doesn’t change the fact that we would be jailing children with their families which is still wrong.” She adds, “It’s as though the United States government has just kidnapped 2,000 children and there’s no plan to reunite them with their parents”.

“And it’s amazing that we’re talking about the idea that we would need to have Congress pass a bill to make the administration do the right thing here”, the Senator says, “But that may end up being what we have to do.”

Meyers then points out that Jeff Sessions and others have admitted that the cruel practice functions as a deterrent, discouraging people from entering so they won’t end up separated. On  the use of children as political pawns, Baldwin emphasizes that “this isn’t the first time.”

“Although this is probably almost unspeakable to watch children being ripped away from their mothers and fathers, but whether it’s for deterrent effect, as they say, or to get his wall, he did this with Dreamers. And he did this with the child health insurance program which was allowed to expire for weeks and weeks and weeks. We’re talking about children getting the care that they need, and not being dropped off of it.” She adds, “most of it has been as leverage for his wall”.

So let’s get the facts straight: Trump is the reason this happened. Trump has not fixed this problem, even though he could. And finally, this administration has shown time and time again that it’s comfortable using children as bargaining chips and passing policies that put them in danger.

In another clip, the two talk about Baldwin being the first openly gay person elected to the Senate. Baldwin’s reelection campaign is facing up against a huge amount of outside conservative money (most sources place the number around $3 million) largely because of her strong positions on health care, advocating for farmers, lowering prescription drug costs, and more.

(image: screencap)

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