Fox News host Laura Ingraham on Monday described the facilities that are holding immigrant children who have been separated from their parents as “essentially summer camps.”
“Since more illegal immigrants are rushing the border, more kids are being separated from their parents and being housed in what are essentially summer camps, or as the San Diego Union Tribune described them today — as looking like basically boarding schools,” she said during her show “The Ingraham Angle.”
Laura Ingraham describes the detention facilities where children are sent after being forcibly separated from their parents as "essentially summer camps." pic.twitter.com/K6ao3lbS6Q
— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) June 19, 2018
Later in the show, Ingraham walked back her comments a bit, saying she would stick with the San Diego newspaper’s characterization of the facilities as “boarding schools” and then advocated for making it easier for Americans to adopt children from Central America.
“Apparently there are a lot of people very upset because we referred to some of the detention facilities tonight as essentially like summer camps. The “San Diego Union Tribune” today described the facilities as essentially like what you would expect at a boarding school,” she said. “So I will stick to there are some of them like boarding schools. And I suggest that a lot of the folks who are worried about that spend more time in Central America. I have. And we should make adoption easier for American couples who want to adopt these kids who are true candidates for adoption because our policies don’t allow that. So let’s put our hearts out there for the kids in the right way. Take care of them the right way. Open your hearts and your homes to them.”
Ingraham’s comments come in the wake of reports of the conditions at detention centers that are holding children who have been separated from their families as their parents are prosecuted for illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. While reporters have not been allowed to publish photos or videos of the facilities, journalists have described the children as being “incarcerated,” being held in cages and, in some cases, forced to sleep on the floor. ProPublica published an audio recording of dozens of children screaming and crying over the separation, while a border patrol agent jokes that the kids sounds like an “orchestra.”
Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ recently enacted “zero tolerance” policy has given agents the authority to arrest and criminally charge any adult caught crossing the border illegally. Their children are then taken away and held in these facilities, where, as MSNBC’s Jacob Soboroff described it, they’re allowed to go outside for two hours a day and are forced to turn the lights off at 9 p.m.
Kids here get only two hours a day to be outside in fresh air.
One hour of structured time.
One hour of free time.
The rest of the day is spent inside a former Wal Mart.
— Jacob Soboroff (@jacobsoboroff) June 13, 2018
One official at the facility told Soboroff that he should smile at the kids because they “feel like animals in a cage being look at.”