Elijah Cummings Blasts Republicans For Condoning "Child Internment Camps" At Border: "What Country Is This?"

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At Tuesday's House Oversight Committee hearing with Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz, Ranking Member Elijah Cummings delivered a stern rebuke of the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy for illegally crossing the U.S. border, calling on Republicans to "stand up" and reject "this mean policy."

"Even if you believe immigration should be halted entirely we all should be able to agree that in the United States of America, we will not intentionally separate children from their parents, we will not do that. We are better than that. We are so much better. We should be able to agree that we will not keep kids in child internment camps indefinitely and hidden away from public view. What country is that?" Cummings asked in an emotionally-charged opening statement.

"We should be able to agree that we will not keep kids in child internment camps indefinitely and hidden away from public view," he said. "What country is that? This is the United States of America."





REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS, D-MD: Republicans in Congress are only willing to use their full arsenal of constitutional weapons to attack Hillary Clinton or protect Donald Trump. Neither the Oversight Committee nor the Judiciary Committee has issued a single subpoena to investigate President Donald Trump or any other topic related to his administration, including to a key moral and ethical issue of the day, which is the president's new policy to separate children from their families.

And so I ask a question, and it is a simple question. Are we really going to sit here, 70 members of the Congress of the United States of America, in 2018, and have a hearing that just repeats the hearings the Senate had yesterday on Hillary Clinton's e-mails?

We sent letter after letter, letter after letter asking these committees to investigate the Trump administration's policy, which is now resulting in child internment camps. That's what I said, child internment camps. But we have gotten no response.

Look, even if you believe people entered our country illegally, even if you believe they have no valid asylum claims in their own country, even if you believe immigration should be halted entirely, we all should be able to agree that, in the United States of America, we will not intentionally separate children from their parents. We will not do that. We are better than that. We are so much better.

We should be able to agree that we will not keep kids in child internment camps indefinitely and hidden away from public view. What country is that? This is the United States of America.

We now have reports of parents of being deported, but the Trump administration is keeping their children here -- 2018 in America. We do not need legislation. This is a policy. And understand this: this was a policy invented, implemented and executed by President Donald Trump.

And so, in conclusion, Mr. Chairman, we need you. Those children need you. And I'm talking directly to my Republican colleagues. We need you to stand up to President Trump.

We need you to join us in telling him that we reject this mean policy. We need you to tell him to abandon this policy. We need you to remind him that this is the United States of America, and it is a great country. And we need you to stand up for those children.

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