Exasperated Reporter Confronts Sanders Over Trump Administration’s Cruelty to Immigrant Children

“It is very biblical to enforce the law.”

As condemnation grows over the more than 1,300 children separated from their families because of the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance policy at the border, the White House on Thursday continued to repeat the false assertion that the policy is required by a long-standing, decades-old court order. 

“The laws are the ones that have been on the books for over a decade and the president is enforcing them,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said. “We would like to fix the broken system and fix our immigration problem. However, until Democrats are willing to fix this problem, it’s going to continue.”

Blaming Democrats for the current impasse on immigration, Sanders on Thursday went on to deny that the current separations stemmed from a policy change enacted by the Trump administration. Reporter Brian Karem of Playboy magazine then confronted Sanders, asking if she had any “empathy.”

Sanders accused Karem of trying to gain more time on television. 

Last month Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the federal government would start prosecuting everyone who crosses the US-Mexico border illegally—a move many saw as a new draconian policy aimed at splitting up families in an attempt to deter more people from illegally crossing the border. “If you are smuggling a child, then we will prosecute you and that child will be separated from you as required by law,” Sessions told law enforcement officials as the new policy was announced. 

When CNN’s Jim Acosta asked Sanders about Sessions’ statements claiming there was a biblical justification for the separations, Sanders had this to say: “It is very biblical to enforce the law and that is actually repeated a number of times throughout the Bible.”


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend