GOP candidate: Child separation is fine because kids cry at daycare too


Michael Grimm, the ex-con running for his old congressional seat, is okay with ripping children from their families.

Republican candidates for office are still defending the Trump administration's cruel policy of separating families.

But perhaps the most disgusting justification so far goes to ex-Rep. Michael Grimm. He thinks the recorded screams of frightened children at the facilities made public this week are no different from what you would hear at a nursery or a daycare.

Grimm, who is trying to win back his seat in New York's Staten Island-based 11th Congressional District after a stint in federal prison, made the comments to reporters for New York 1 during a campaign stop.

"I think it's extremely unfortunate. But what people are forgetting — they just want to listen to those tapes — you know, I can take you to any nursery and you're gonna hear the exact same things, as — as a mother goes to work and has to leave her child at daycare, you're gonna hear those same exact things, okay?" said Grimm.

"I think when you really look at it, those children haven't been that safe in a long time," he added. "And the conditions that they have are much better than where they came from."

Over 2,000 children are being detained, some in chain-link cages set up in old warehouses. Some children have told CBS they are undernourished. And it could get worse — Trump officials are building "tent cities" to house more children. At one new facility in Tornillo, Texas, where temperatures can exceed 100 degrees, NBC reports children could be confined 20 to a tent.

Even if they were physically treated well, the act of tearing children from their parents — in at least one case, even a breastfeeding infant — can cause severe trauma.

"Forced separation of children and parents, especially in connection with the detention of a parent, can constitute an adverse childhood experience, which research links with disrupted neurodevelopment, resulting in social, emotional, and cognitive impairment, and even negative intergenerational effects," stated an open letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, signed by more than 5,000 health and child development experts.

Grimm's callousness toward families accused of immigration offenses is shocking, given his conviction and imprisonment for felony tax evasion stemmed from a restaurant he ran, where he allegedly employed undocumented immigrants and kept two sets of books.

Grimm is not the only Republican candidate defending family separations. Pennsylvania Senate candidate Lou Barletta argued it could deter immigrants from coming, while Arizona Senate candidate Kelli Ward said kids should be jailed for other people's crimes.

Republicans like Grimm have made a choice to stand against basic human decency. They are likely to regret it.