Pundits and politicians across the political spectrum are responding to a bombardment of shocking stories and imagery depicting immigrant children separated from their families and held in detention centers.
The Trump administration's new zero-tolerance policy on illegal border crossings has led to a spike in prosecutions — and as a result, increased family separations. In the six weeks following that order, 1,995 children had been separated from their parents, a Department of Homeland Security spokesman told news outlets on Friday.
The hard-line policy has produced howls of condemnation from long-time critics of President Donald Trump. But even some of Trump's reliable allies in the media and politics have voiced their concerns for the thousands of children taken from their parents.
The decision to prosecute any and all illegal border crossings was reinforced in an April 6 memorandum from Attorney General Jeff Sessions directing U.S. attorneys "to adopt a policy to prosecute all" such violations "to the extent practicable."
But as the realities of such a policy come to light — through pictures of children sleeping on concrete floors and huddling in wire cages in stark detention centers — other Trump administration officials and allies have called for the policy to change.
Trump's outspoken legal defender, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, weighed in on Sunday in a CBS interview. While Giuliani's interview style has recently been defined by bellicose attacks on Trump's enemies, he struck an empathetic note on the question of family separations.
"I don't like to see, and I know President Trump doesn't like the children taken away from their parents," Giuliani said.