Fox News host Laura Ingraham faces a backlash after comparing immigrant detention facilities where children are being held on the US border as “summer camps.”
The conservative talk show host brought up the issue of the “zero tolerance” policy followed by President Donald Trump’s administration, requiring border patrol agents to separate parents from their children so the adults can be charged with illegal entry.
“More kids are being separated from their parents and temporarily housed in what are essentially summer camps, or as The San Diego Union Tribune described them today, as basically looking like boarding schools,” Ms Ingraham said Monday. “The American people are footing a really big bill for what is tantamount to a slow-rolling invasion of the United States.”
The White House has been mired in the controversy in recent weeks over the issue with Mr Trump repeatedly blaming the Democrats for failing to act and help Congress change the law, although it is well within his executive powers to change the policy his federal government implemented earlier this year.
On Monday, ProPublica released audio it obtained from inside what it claimed was one of the children’s detention centre, in which several kids can be heard screaming for their parents and begging border patrol agents to call their relatives. Every living former first lady has spoken out against the separation policy, as have countless progressive organisations.
In Ms Ingraham’s opinion, however, the detention facilities help 'Make America Great Again' - Mr Trump's election slogan. “We can longer permit central American countries to export their poverty and their desperation to our nation,” she said.
It’s not the first time Ingraham received flack for stirring controversy. Numerous advertisers cut ties with her show earlier this year when she mocked Parkland school shooting survivor David Hogg on Twitter for not getting into his top schools.
By the end of Monday night’s show, it appeared Ms Ingraham caught wind of the backlash that had already erupted throughout the hour-long program. “Apparently there are a lot of people very upset because we referred to some of the detention facilities tonight as essentially like summer camps,” she said. “The San Diego Union Tribune today described the facilities as essentially like what you would expect at a boarding school. So I will stick to there are some of them like boarding schools. And I suggest that a lot of the folks who are worried about that spend more time in Central America. I have.”