As migrant kids remain separated, Trump claims 'every life is sacred' at National Prayer Breakfast
Donald Trump pulled out his Very Serious Voice™ at the annual National Prayer Breakfast on Thursday to read aloud the words “every life is sacred,” adding that Americans should pray “for a future where every child is warm, safe, in a loving home.” But that all comes with fine print, of course.
Nearly 200 days past a federal judge’s deadline, children stolen from families at the southern border under the barbaric “zero tolerance” policy remain in U.S. custody. In December, the number of detained unaccompanied minors, or children who came to the U.S. by themselves, hit a wretched 15,000—the most ever. That same month, two young children, Jakelin Ameí Rosmery Caal Maquin and Felipe Gomez Alonzo, died while in federal immigration custody.
But Trump’s response to two children dying under this administration’s watch wasn’t to say that “every life is sacred”—it was to blame his political opponents and lie. His response wasn’t to prioritize the safety of all children by ordering an emergency review and overhaul of immigration detention policies—it was to shut down the federal government over his stupid, useless border wall and threaten declaration of a state of emergency if he doesn’t get what he wants.
Some might argue that when Republicans say that “every life is sacred,” it only applies within the womb, but that comes with fine print as well, because the Trump administration has tried to gut maternity care. The fact is, as pediatrician Irwin Redlener writes, “it has become undeniable that after only two years, the Trump administration is already showing itself to be the most anti-child of any presidency in memory.”
Publicly, the Trump administration will at least pretend to care about white children, but migrant children in particular don’t even get that pretense. They get separated from their families after fleeing for their lives, thrown into cages and prison camps, and released only because administration officials were court-ordered. Some, like Jakelin and Felipe, never leave at all.