In their rush to score political points over Obama for the children at the border story, many Republicans are going way, way too far — see, for example, Darrell Issa and his campaign to restart the deportation of DREAMers who have lived here all their lives, in response to children who have just arrived. It’s gotten to the point where even other conservatives are recognizing this excess, and calling on their colleagues to rein in their zeal. After all, this is a story that features children fleeing from violence — young kids who need help and who need to be treated in a humane way.
Michael Steele, the recent RNC chairman, this week chided his party to “stop playing political football” when it comes to the wellbeing of the border children.
“The Republican Party has to realize that there is a compassion that we must show for what is happening to the people that goes beyond protecting the border,” Steele said on MSNBC’s “Ronan Farrow Daily.”
“It would be very helpful if Ted Cruz and Governor Perry in particular came out in support of the solution here,” he said. “It is a humanitarian crisis as the president, I think, rightly noted and it is one the United States has to deal with.”
Meanwhile, Bill O’Reilly has been on a tear against the children fleeing violence, arguing repeatedly that we should militarize the border and claiming that we just can’t afford to feed and care for the children who have come (Fox News’ Kirsten Powers shot back, “I never heard you say we can’t afford to invade Iraq”).
On Monday, Brit Hume blasted O’Reilly’s border militarization idea, asking how far O’Reilly wants to go to stop these children — “what are you going to do, shoot them?” — and pointing out that more border security is pointless when these children are turning themselves in. Hume explained to O’Reilly that the children are distinct from immigrants already in the US seeking immigration reform, that they’re refugees and special law protects them as such.
Here’s a segment of their back-and-forth; watch more in the video below: (h/t Crooks and Liars)
O’Reilly: Here’s the deal. You could militarize that border and you could secure that border.
Hume: Bill suppose you militarize that border and a bunch of kids are coming across, what are you going to do, shoot them?
O’Reilly: They wouldn’t get in because there would be a wall and a barrier there and they wouldn’t get in.
Hume: In other words you’d have a giant wall across our entire southern border to stop the children from coming in?
O’Reilly: To stop everybody from coming.
Hume: I understand that, so that’s the O’Reilly plan?
O’Reilly: Also…I’d secure that border so you couldn’t get a jet ski and drive up and get off and walk in. Yes I would, am I a mean guy for doing that?
Hume: Well, if you walk up to an immigration checkpoint in Mexico and turn yourself in, you’d change the law so these people would simply turn back into Mexico?