Jeff Sessions, the U.S. Attorney General joked about family separation while addressing the conservative Criminal Justice Legal Foundation in Los Angeles on Tuesday.
During his speech, he defended the Justice Department's "zero tolerance" policy for illegal migrants crossing the Mexico – U.S. border. The policy has come under fire after recordings were released of children crying after being forcibly separated from their parents. Amidst international condemnation and outcry at home, the White House relented and discontinued the policy.
Yesterday, a federal judge ruled that the White House must reunite all remaining migrant children with their families in the next 30 days, and those under the age of five in the next 14 days. As of Tuesday, 2,047 children were still in detention centers.
Despite this, Trump, Sessions and other senior officials have continued to support and defend the policy. On Tuesday, Sessions lambasted the hypocritical "elites" and radicalized "left", and joked that those attacking the policy were hypocrites who would gladly separate families that infiltrated their “gated communities.”
“We hear views on television today that are on the lunatic fringe, frankly. And what is perhaps more galling is the hypocrisy,” Sessions said during his prepared remarks. “These same people live in gated communities, many of them, and are featured at events where you have to have an ID to even come in and hear them speak.”
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He continued: “They like a little security around themselves. And if you try to scale their fence, believe me, they’ll be only too happy to have you arrested and separated from your children.”
Emboldened by the crowd's laughter, Sessions went on to chastise the "elites".
“They want borders in their lives, but not yours and not the American people’s lives,” Sessions continued. “And that’s why the American people are sick of the lip service and the hypocrisy. They are sick of the politicians who abandon their promises as soon as the mainstream media criticizes them. They’ve seen it for decades. And now they are supporting a president who is on their side.”