U.S. Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) told “Face the Nation” that the immigration policy that separated families was done in a “ready, fire, aim way,” and insinuated that Republicans who are concerned about illegal immigration hate others.
The Tennessee Republican appeared on the CBS show Sunday. The host asked him if the U.S. committed a “human rights violation.” The senator deflected the question and said, “It obviously is not something that’s realistic. It’s not something that appreciates these young children. It certainly was done in a ready, aim, fire way, obviously.”
Corker said President Trump signing an executive order to reunite families “led to another crisis” due to the 20-day limit on how long children may be detained with their parents while they are prosecuted.
He accused “some” in the administration of using the issue “as a force to activate the base for elections, but obviously the president realized that was a mistake, and now it’s up to us in Congress to work with them to come up with a longer-term solution.”
Corker raps his party
Corker was asked about “American values” and a CBS News poll result: Those who enter the nation illegally should be punished as an example of toughness, 21 percent of Democrats agreeing, vs. 73 percent of Republicans; or treated well as an example of kindness, 79 percent of Democrats agreeing vs. 27 percent of Republicans.
Corker responded that he’s “never been part of a group that hated someone for wishing something better for their life.”
“Maybe they have a little different color of their skin and they speak differently — I just have never hated someone who traveled through tough conditions to try to come to a place where they could realize their dreams,” he said. “I’m just not part of that group that wants to punish.”
Commentator: Most children were unaccompanied
Tennessee Star Political Editor Steve Gill questions whether the senator realizes that reuniting most of these children would mean deporting them.
“It is beyond bizarre for Bob Corker to seemingly desire that children of those who have intentionally, and in many cases repeatedly, committed illegal acts be sent to adult detention facilities or jails,” Gill said. “Though the fact that many of the so called children appear to be near or over 18 years of age might make it appropriate in some cases.
“What is even more strange is Corker’s lack of concern about reuniting many of these children that he is supposedly concerned about with adults who may have no family relationship with them and who, in many cases, appear to be engaging in human trafficking with the children as their victims rather than their loved ones. Most people don’t think that a pimp has a family relationship with those he uses in the sex trade, but perhaps Senator Corker sees family differently than the rest of us.
“According to DHS Secretary Nielsen, about 10,000 of the 12,000 children in custody were unaccompanied, sent here alone by their parents. So, the only way to reunite them with their families is to deport them home. Is that Corker’s plan?”
The senator did not mention that Trump’s executive order directed the Attorney General to take the necessary legal steps to address the root cause of the problem, which was a consent decrees in a 1997 immigration case, as the Tennessee Star reported. “The Attorney General shall promptly file a request with the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California to modify the Settlement Agreement in Flores v. Sessions, CV 85-4544 (“Flores settlement”), in a manner that would permit the Secretary, under present resource constraints, to detain alien families together throughout the pendency of criminal proceedings for improper entry or any removal or other immigration proceedings,” stated the Order.