GOP candidate compares tapes of crying kids at border to daycare drop-off
Posted June 20, 2018 10:03 a.m. EDT
(CNN) — A Republican congressional candidate in New York said Tuesday that the sounds of crying immigrant children separated from their parents at the border were the "same exact" sounds heard at any daycare when a parent leaves for work.
"I think it's extremely unfortunate. But what people are forgetting -- they just want to listen to those tapes -- I can take you to any nursery and you're going to hear the same exact things as a mother leaves to go to work and has to leave her child at daycare. You're going to hear those same exact things," Michael Grimm, who is running for the Republican nomination in New York's 11th Congressional District, told NY1.
Grimm made the comments while defending the Trump administration's controversial "zero-tolerance" policy, which has led to the separation of children from their families at the US-Mexico border.
In a statement to CNN, Grimm said, "To clarify - we never want to separate children from parents whenever possible, however the dangerous journey across Latin America and Mexico is so horrific, we must do everything in our power to prevent it. I am confident that by working together we can put the best interests of the children first and find a compassionate solution that prevents this crisis in the first place."
ProPublica released audio on Monday in which cries of "Mami" and "Papá" can be heard coming from children being held in detention facilities at the border. An adult on the recording can be heard comparing the cries to an orchestra.
Grimm is running to unseat Republican Rep. Dan Donovan, the man who stepped in to replace him after his 2015 resignation from Congress after pleading guilty to tax fraud.
President Donald Trump has tweeted out his "full endorsement" for Donovan's candidacy, saying "there is no one better to represent the people of New York and Staten Island."
Donovan has also weighed in on Trump's border policy, telling NY1, "right now, the Trump administration is obeying the law. A child comes across our borders unaccompanied, we take care of that child. The few thousands of children being separated by their families -- the Trump administration's interpretation of the law is that what they are required to do."