Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) attempted to bait United States Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett into disavowing or approving of President Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy at the U.S.-Mexico border but ultimately failed.
During the third day of Barrett’s confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Booker asked the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals judge if she opposed the practice of separating adult border crossers from the children they arrive with at the southern border.
Barrett, who repeatedly told Senate Democrats she could not express opinions on debated policy matters, some making their way through the courts, told Booker she would not be “drawn into a debate” about immigration policy.
The exchange went as follows:
Booker: Do you think it’s wrong to separate children from their parents to deter immigrants from coming to the United States?
Barrett: Well Sen. Booker, that’s been a matter of policy debate and you know, obviously, that’s a matter of hot political debate in which I can’t express a view or be drawn into as a judge.
Booker: So, I respect that a lot but I think the underlying question is actually not hotly debated. And just maybe I’ll ask it one more time. Do you think it’s wrong to separate a child from their parent, not for the safety of the child or parent, but to send a message? As a human being, do you believe that’s wrong?
Barrett: Well, senator I think you’re trying to engage me on the administration’s border and separations policies, and I can’t express a view on that. So I’m not expressing assent or dissent with the morality of that position; I just can’t be drawn into a debate about the administration’s immigration policy.
Booker: Right. And, of course, the question does have implications but a very simple … we’re debating things that to me are actually basic questions of human rights, human decency, and human dignity. I’m sorry that we can’t have a simple affirmation of what I think most Americans would agree on.
Barrett is a devout Catholic, mother of seven children, and graduate of Notre Dame Law School.
In 2018, the Trump administration enforced its zero tolerance policy to stop the flow of illegal adult border crossers from trafficking minor children into the U.S. The separation of adult border crossers from the children they arrive with has occurred since before 2001, court records have shown, and the Obama administration used the same detention centers that are currently being used.
Detaining child border crossers was a policy during the Obama administration, and Breitbart Texas exclusively reported on the conditions in which unaccompanied minors were being packed into crowded cells and holding facilities.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.