Gov. Kasich takes issue with family separations

Published 9:26 am Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Says nation has lost “sense of humanity”

COLUMBUS — Ohio Gov. John Kasich is speaking out about the Trump administration’s policy of separating families who cross the U.S. border illegally.

Appearing on CNN Tuesday, Kasich, who has been a vocal critic of Trump, whom he competed against in the 2016 Republican primaries, took major issue with the policy.

“It seems as though we have lost our sense of humanity,” he said. “These are people. This is flesh and blood. These are children.”

Email newsletter signup

According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, since May, 2,342 children have been separated from their families after crossing the border from Mexico.

The policy has been part of a “zero tolerance” effort ordered by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions in April. Sessions has described the separations as a deterrence effort.

“The Attorney General directed United States Attorneys on the Southwest Border to prosecute all amenable adults who illegally enter the country, including those accompanied by their children, for 8 U.S.C. § 1325(a), illegal entry,” the U.S. Department of Homeland Security states on its website. “Children whose parents are referred for prosecution will be placed with the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Refugee Resettlement.”

Kasich voiced what he felt after he heard audio from an Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention center. The recording, played on many media outlets, contains the voices of children crying for family members.

A person, purported to be a border patrol agent, is heard on the clip joking about the situation, and stating that the children sound like “an orchestra.”

“I couldn’t listen to it,” the governor said. “I mean, I listened for a short period of time, and it’s almost enough to make you cry for these children.”

Kasich said, if it were up to him, the agent would have been disciplined.

“I don’t like to ever run around or tell somebody they ought to be fired or whatever,” Kasich said. “If they were working for me, they would definitely be out for a while and maybe gone forever from that job. This is not something to joke about.”

Kasich asked Americans to consider the causes of the border crossings.

“Will we ever stop and think why they’re showing up there?” he said.

The governor also said Trump should not use the children as “leverage,” but said he would not make a judgment on the president, personally, feeling it was “inappropriate.”

“I can’t read his heart,” Kasich said.