Following former first lady Laura Bush’s scathing op-ed in which she heavily criticized President Donald Trump’s policy of separating undocumented immigrant families at the border, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders fired back.
“Frankly, this law was actually signed into effect in 2008 under her husband’s leadership. Not under this administration,” Sanders said during a fiery press briefing on the matter on Monday.
“We’re not the ones responsible for creating this problem. We’ve inherited it,” she added. “But we’re actually the first administration stepping up and trying to fix it.”
Sanders to Laura Bush: "Frankly this law was actually signed into effect in 2008 under her husband's leadership. Not under this administration" pic.twitter.com/PFxfi5eFtU
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) June 18, 2018
According to the Washington Examiner, the press secretary was referencing a 2008 anti-trafficking bill signed into law by then-President George W. Bush.
However, the law simply transferred unaccompanied minors who traveled to the United States without their parents or legal guardians from immigration authorities to the Department of Health and Human Services to be processed and placed with a family already living here.
While the law does not require the separation of families at the border because it deals with unaccompanied children, many have argued it has nonetheless contributed to an influx in immigrant children crossing the border in hopes of being granted asylum.
In her op-ed, Bush called the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance” family separation policy “immoral” and “cruel” and equated it to Japanese-American internment camps during World War II.
“It breaks my heart,” she wrote.
The Trump administration has also so far attempted to justify or deflect blame for the policy by:
.insisting it’s a deterrent for illegal border crossings
.quoting the Bible
.repeatedly blaming Democrats for “their law” despite it actually being a Department of Justice policy
.claiming the policy doesn’t even exist