Reporting from a McAllen, Texas, border detention center on Monday, CBS This Morning’s Gayle King was clearly affected by the stories she was hearing from parents who have had their children ripped away from them due to the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance” policy for undocumented immigrants.
King explained that not only are children being separated from their parents, but siblings are also being separated from each other. “It’s just a terrible, terrible situation,” she said on CBS. “It goes against everything that we in this country believe in, starting with the Statue of Liberty.”
After quoting the words on that beacon of hope—“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free”—King declared: “I say the Statue of Liberty is weeping today.”
During an interview with Manuel Padilla, chief of the Rio Grande Valley Sector of Customs and Border Protection, King asked, “I know this is complicated for you and your team, but what people are talking about is cruel and inhuman behavior, is how it’s perceived. Do you actually agree with this policy?”
“I do agree that we have to do something. We created this situation by not doing anything,” Padilla told her. “So what happened with zero tolerance is, we were exempting a population from the law. And what happens when you do that, it creates a draw for a certain group of people that rises to trends that become a crisis.”
In a separate report for CBS This Morning, King revealed that spokespeople for the border patrol told the network they are “very uncomfortable” with the use of the word “cages” to describe the small cells in which they are holding children. “They said it’s not inaccurate, but they are very uncomfortable with using the word ‘cages,’” she said. “They said, ‘They may be cages, but they are not being treated like animals.’”
“For most people watching, there has got to be a better way,” King said later. “All I know is that separating children from their mothers, in particular, from their parents is inhuman.”