US President Donald Trump’s so-called “zero tolerance policy” towards illegal immigration has resulted in nearly 2,000 children being separated from their parents at the US-Mexico border. And the children weren’t merely separated from their families by the Department of Homeland Security and the Health and Human Services. They were held temporarily in detention facilities that very much resembled cages, and then, after being sorted in a “dog-kennel” style, were moved to a former Walmart, as you can see in the clips in the Daily Show segment above.
As crusaders of justice, America’s late night talk-show hosts immediately rose to the occasion.
“Immigration. From the time of Trump’s start in office, his administration has been working hard to shut that shit down. They cut down on visas, they kicked out refugees, they screwed over the DACA kids, and even ramped up deportations. So it’s a scary time to be an immigrant in America,” said Trevor Noah (video above) and gave the president an ultimatum: “President Trump, you got two options: either you can own the fact that this was your plan all along and you don’t hate this policy of keeping kids in cages, or you can call up the one person in America with more power than you – Beyoncé. Because if anyone knows how to organise an epic release, it’s her.”
Seth Meyers (video above) marvelled at Trump’s lack of sympathy for children fleeing violence and seeking asylum with their parents. “If this policy strikes you as monstrous and inhumane and cruel, then you’re a decent person. In other words, you are not Attorney General Jeff Sessions,” said Meyers, calling out Sessions’ statement where he cited the Bible to defend his policy.
“I should note it’s also very biblical to stone people to death, to sleep with 600 concubines, to have conversations with flaming bushes, and to believe that a 500-year-old man built a giant boat and put giraffes on it,” responded Meyers.
The talk show host even suggested that Trump was gaslighting the country and proposed a conspiracy theory behind the policy, which is “monstrous and morally repugnant” as he called it: “Here’s what’s really going on. Trump is doing this as a bargaining chip. He’s holding these children hostage so that he can get his border wall.”
Not one to stay behind on political issues, Stephen Colbert dubbed the situation an impending “all-baby reboot of Shawshank Redemption” and suggested the children were being treat like farm animals.
He also played the devil’s advocate (literally) in a segment by the same name, because “Trump’s defenders are wrong and they are bad, but it’s important to give the devil his due – he’s a sponsor.”
All that was remaining was a comprehensive explainer from John Oliver on Last Week Tonight, who focused on the Biblical spin given to the horrendous policy. “Lots of things are said in the Bible but it doesn’t mean you should do them,” said Oliver. “And the Trump administration might want to go a little easy on holding the Bible up as a moral code because let’s remember, the Bible is not a big fan of adultery, gluttony, coveting your neighbour’s wife, pride, or wrath.”
And finally, Jordan Klepper of The Opposition took Trump’s administration and his supporters through the stages of self-acceptance, for the questionable and disturbing choices they made regarding the policy that’s breaking up migrant families.