Dem Sen. Merkley: Trump Is Establishing ‘the Largest Child Prison in American History’

Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) argued the Trump administration’s immigration policies were turning border detention centers into “the largest child prison in American history.”

Merkley said, “You see that the children are being treated in a horrific manner, and there’s an underlying philosophy that it’s okay to treat refugees in this fashion. And that’s really the rot at the core of the administration’s policy.”

He continued, “Let’s think about The bill that was just passed, it did nothing to change the blockade of children at the border, being left in Mexico. It did nothing to change the for-profit system of Homestead where 3,200 children capacity — the largest child prison in American history is being established. And the company’s being paid $750 a day to lock up children, no incentive to get them into homes.”

He added, “This process of the brutalization of refugees, and particularly children, is part of a philosophy of saying, ‘If we treat them like this, we’ll discourage them from coming.’ There’s just no ethical framework or religious tradition that allows you to mistreat children in this fashion.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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