GOP congressman: Family separation is 'a lot of over-dramatization'
Rep. Kevin Cramer thinks people are being melodramatic about kids in cages.
A disturbing number of congressional Republicans have defended the Trump administration’s barbaric practice of separating migrant families.
One of the more callous responses came from Rep. Kevin Cramer of North Dakota’s at-large congressional district, who is currently running against Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp.
Speaking to Gray Television on Tuesday, Cramer essentially told people to stop treating family separation like such a big deal.
“I think there’s a lot of over-dramatization if you want to know the truth, but I would say this: North Dakotans are most concerned about safety and security at our borders,” Cramer said.
Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy against migrant families has led to more than 2,000 children being detained, some in cages, and the administration is planning to put more in “tent cities.”
Some of these children are being severely mistreated: CBS heard from immigrant kids who said they were being malnourished, and one lawsuit even alleges some detained children were forcibly injected with psychiatric drugs.
And all separated children are at risk for permanent trauma and lifelong health problems as a result of their ordeal, as more than 5,000 health and child development experts have warned the administration.
Cramer is not alone among Republicans in downplaying the crisis. On Tuesday, New York ex-Rep. Michael Grimm, who is running to reclaim his old seat, claimed child separations are no big deal because children also cry when they are dropped off at daycare.
But polls show the public, far from considering the reports “over-dramatization,” overwhelmingly wants these family separations to end.
Even Trump is starting to realize how politically toxic his actions have become. He made a big show on Wednesday of signing of an executive order that supposedly keeps families together, but in reality makes it possible to detain families indefinitely.
Heitkamp, unlike her rival Cramer, is adamantly opposed to the practice.
“They need to be reunited with their parents,” she said on local 970 WDAY radio, referring to the separated children.
Heitkamp has also cosponsored the Keep Families Together Act, which has support in the Senate from every Democrat and no Republicans.
Cramer’s indifference to the suffering of migrant children is appalling. He should be held to account for it by the public.
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