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Trump Administration 'Enforcing The Laws In The Books,' Talk Show Host Says Of Immigration Policy

There have been many voices against President Trump’s chosen policy of family separation at the U.S. border.

Here & Now‘s Robin Young gets the views of a supporter of the administration’s “zero-tolerance” policy, conservative talk show host Sandy Rios ( @SandyRiosTweet).

Interview Highlights

On supporting the policy

“Who wants to see children separated from their parents? All of our hearts go out, but that doesn’t mean that it’s exactly what is being presented as. We have so many Americans consigned to prisons because they’ve broken the law. Now we don’t have any audio that I know of of American children being separated from their parents when they go to prison, but I guarantee you there would be a lot of cries and sadness. It would break your heart. Is that the fault of the American people or is it the fault of the parent who has broken the law?”

On the constitutionality of the policy

“The constitutionality is pretty obvious. Look, the executive branch doesn’t pass laws. It’s only the Congress that can do that. But here’s the thing: This is a misreporting and a misrepresentation. Parents have separated themselves from their own children in the most of these cases, willingly sent them off either with someone else or by themselves to make that dangerous track. … The asylum laws that are on the books have been abused. And I would ask you to consider this: If we follow the logic of our emotions, which are being played right now — so then there is no limit to the amount of children and persons we allow into the United States? We cannot handle anymore. We have our own children to think about. We have the Kate Steinles, who were definitely separated from their parents by an [immigrant in the U.S. illegally]. We have to consider that our emotions need to be guided by reason.

On those seeking asylum

“We are not responsible for the entire world and all of its violence and problems. We do have a very generous asylum policy. People are just flooding over the border, and so there’s no way the agents can actually discern who’s telling the truth about asylum and who isn’t. Agents are people. They can’t handle overwhelming numbers of people coming across the border. I don’t think anybody reasonably expects that they can. We had border agents during the Obama administration that were learning to change diapers and do child care because they were so overwhelmed with all the numbers of children coming.”

On new bills calling for civil detentions and keeping children with families

“What I’m saying is that most of those kids are not coming with their parents. … I think we need to enforce our immigration laws to stop the massive migration on the southern border, and if it starts on the northern border, we should stop it there. I think we should put America first.

“There may be a few families intact down there, but I think most of the kids are by themselves or with the other people that they are not even related to. … You talk about unfair, unjust — do you have any idea — I’m sure you do — the dangers that parents are putting their children in by sending them on these long treks with strangers?”

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