Rep. Debbie Lesko is an ardent supporter of Trump's immigration policies and campaigned for her seat by smearing migrants as part of an 'invasion.'
Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-AZ), a staunch advocate of Donald Trump's harsh immigration policies, accused Democrats of "tearing families apart" during the House debate over articles of impeachment on Wednesday.
"Madam Speaker, this is a sad day. I believe that Democrats are tearing this country apart. They're tearing families apart," said Lesko in her floor speech.
The claim ignores the considerable evidence that has driven Democrats to hold hearings and offer articles of impeachment. Trump is being impeached over his efforts to push Ukraine to investigate his political rivals by withholding critical aid to the country.
Lesko's attack also ignores the scores of migrant families who were torn apart as a result of Trump's decision to prosecute all people crossing the southern border of the United States, a change in policy from previous presidents. That policy choice led to children being taken away from their families and held in detention centers. In some instances, the Trump administration lost track of children, who were never to be reunited with their families.
The ACLU has assessed the data and found that 2,654 children were separated from their parents by the Trump administration.
Even after courts ordered the administration to stop breaking up families while enacting Trump's immigration policies, agencies have continued the practice.
"Separated children exhibited more fear, feelings of abandonment, and post-traumatic stress than did children who were not separated," noted a September report from the Health and Human Services inspector general cataloguing the psychological toll of the policy.
Other reports found outbreaks of illnesses such as scabies, chickenpox and shingles among the children that were being held in detention cells.
Lesko won her seat in a special election in 2016 after promising to back up Trump's hardline immigration positions. In campaign ads last year, Lesko touted her support for Trump's border wall on the U.S.-Mexico border and inaccurately described the region as a "war zone."
She also described migrants as part of an "invasion," language also used by Trump and an anti-immigrant mass shooter.
Lesko has voted in favor of Trump's positions 95.1% of the time during her tenure in Congress.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.