‘It Breaks My Heart’: Laura Bush Speaks Out Against Separation of Immigrant Families

On Sunday night, former first lady Laura Bush published a column for The Washington Post criticizing the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance” immigration policy.

Over 2,000 children have been separated from their parents at the southwest border and sent to detention centers since April 19.

Bush, who lives in Dallas, wrote that as a resident of a border state, she recognizes the necessity of having international boundaries but that the policy is “cruel” and “immoral.”

“[I]t breaks my heart,” she wrote.

The former first lady said that images revealing the conditions of the detention centers and foster care facilities the children were being kept in reminded her of Japanese-American internment camps from World War II, “one of the most shameful episodes in U.S. history.”

Bush called on America to “stop separating parents and children in the first place.”

Americans pride ourselves on being a moral nation, on being the nation that sends humanitarian relief to places devastated by natural disasters or famine or war. We pride ourselves on believing that people should be seen for the content of their character, not the color of their skin.

Bush cited American Academy of Pediatrics President Colleen Kraft’s visit to a shelter in Texas, where she noted that children had beds, toys, and diaper change stations but that workers were “instructed not to pick up or touch the children to comfort them.”

“Imagine not being able to pick up a child who is not yet out of diapers,” she wrote.

John Moore/Getty Images

Bush said she believed there could be a “kinder, more compassionate, and more moral” solution to the illegal immigration issue.

The column didn’t mention President Donald Trump or anyone in his administration, which received criticism and praise from readers.

“I know there are good people at all levels of government who can do better to fix this,” Bush wrote.

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