Utah's Largest Paper Compares Child Separation to War Crimes in Scathing Editorial
The largest newspaper in Utah issued a scathing rebuke of the Trump administration’s immigration policies in a new editorial on Tuesday.
The Salt Lake Tribune editorial board compared the separation of immigrant families at the border to war crimes in a piece titled “Our treatment of refugee children is a national disgrace.”
“It can be hard for normal people to grasp that their own government — and its individual agents, officers and attorneys — is involved in a heartless and brainless effort to visit so much deliberate cruelty upon asylum-seeking families,” the editorial board wrote.
The criticism comes as the government is scrambling to reunite dozens of immigrants under 5 years old with their parents in time for a court-ordered deadline — which it said it would not be able to meet.
More than 2,000 immigrant children were separated from their parents and detained under the Trump administration’s zero tolerance policy, which called for the prosecution of all illegal border crossers.
“This is the kind of behavior that, when carried out by non-superpowers, gets people hauled before the International Criminal Court or some special war crimes tribunal,” the board wrote.
The piece accused the government of “dehumanizing” immigrants and “telling lies about how many people are crossing the border illegally, how many of them are gang members and drug dealers and rapists” in order to make Americans ignore the situation.
“If you want to make people believe a lie, the experts taught us, make it big,” the board wrote. “And, apparently, if you want to make people sit still for an atrocity, make it just big enough to have no personality, no individual human face.”
The Tribune also took a stand against President Trump’s frequent criticism of the media, saying that he “stirs up public mistrust, if not downright hatred” of news organizations working to expose the treatment of the children in detention centers. The vast majority of details about the facilities have been documented by reporters visiting the centers.
“Here, all we can do is keep the story alive and hope that Congress — this one or the next — finds its voice and demands both answers and reparations to those damaged by this hateful public policy,” the Tribune wrote.
Among the Republicans who have spoken out against Trump's immigration policies is former presidential nominee Mitt Romney, seen as a favorite to win the Utah Senate seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Orrin Hatch (R) this fall.