Kelli Ward argued that it's fine to separate children from their parents because 'bad people' exist.
While much of the GOP fiercely resists reining in the Trump administration’s horrific practice of ripping migrant children from their parents, some Republicans have at least been willing to condemn the practice. But a few others are cheering it on.
Enter Dr. Kelli Ward, a former GOP state senator and candidate for Arizona’s open Senate seat.
In a Monday interview with Lou Dobbs on Fox Business, Ward made a truly chilling argument for child separation: that because some “bad people” might have figured out how to “use” children to cross the border, we probably need to separate all families just to be safe.
“As a mom, as a family physician, no one wants to see children separated from their parents,” Ward said. “But the moral crisis that we’re facing here is that we have a wide open border that’s a magnet for bad people to bring bad things into our country. Drugs. Guns. People. And those bad people have figured out that they can sell a gun once, they can sell a drug once, but they can sell a woman or they can sell a child again and again and again.
“And our lax immigration laws and our open borders have enabled these people to use children as chips in this process where — it behooves these bad people to get a kid, to bring them to our border, because they might be able to escape scrutiny and seek asylum and escape into our country,” she added.
Ward is no stranger to extreme views.
But disturbingly, Ward is not alone in implying migrant children are nothing more than props to let criminals cross the border.
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen offered the same excuse. “We do not have the luxury of pretending that all individuals coming to this country as a family unit are, in fact, a family,” she told a gathering of U.S. sheriffs on Monday.
Ward’s GOP primary challengers are no better for immigrant rights.
Ward’s other opponent and the frontrunner of the race, Rep. Martha McSally, fiercely backs Trump’s border wall. McSally’s office was also recently caught deleting videos showing she used to support protecting Dreamers.
The Democratic candidate, Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, has made it clear that she thinks family separation is “wrong.”
“The administration’s choice to separate families at the border is wrong – they should stop immediately,” she tweeted. “I’m ready to work with anyone to fix our broken immigration system, secure our border, & protect our communities.”
If Republicans like Ward want to support the Trump administration’s family separation policy, they will need to accept the consequences — and prepare to be held accountable for their cruelty.