Meghan McCain justified the detention of child migrants without their parents as lawful — but her co-hosts on “The View” shredded her political excuses.
The panelists all agreed the images of boys locked in prison-like facilities were horrifying — and evoked memories of Nazi Germany — but the conservative McCain found a political justification for the detentions.
“I believe in comprehensive immigration reform, and I believe in the idea we are all god’s children, and what you just read on the Statue of Liberty,” McCain said. “We are a nation of borders and laws. A nation that cannot control its borders is not a nation, according to Ronald Reagan.”
Co-host Joy Behar asked whether policies pushed by President Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions were comprehensive reforms, and McCain insisted they were enacting the will of voters.
“I’m saying what President Trump ran on is what he is enforcing, and I think that when Jeff Sessions says this, you can’t be surprised that when you have a hardline — the most hardline immigration candidate of my lifetime, who runs on hardline immigration and the economy and ends up winning, that this is what happens,” she said. “It’s why voting is so important, and I think sometimes when we’re sitting in a beautiful studio in the middle of Manhattan, you forget what’s happening at the border. I don’t believe in separating children from parents.”
Host Whoopi Goldberg said many of the families separated at the border under Trump policies were lawfully following the asylum process, but McCain placed herself into the middle of the argument.
“I know when I say this — by the way, like, I know that when I’m coming on here saying this, I know how unpopular it is,” she said. “I’m not a snowflake. I know probably nobody in this room agrees with me.”
Behar said she didn’t even know what they disagreed about — and McCain retreated behind a legal platitude.
“If we are not a nation of borders and laws, we are not a nation,” McCain said.
That’s when Goldberg pounced.
“The law has always been that asylum seekers would be welcome and taken each (step) at a time, and just to blatantly say, we’re not going to do it seems very different to me,” she said.
Co-host Sunny Hostin, a former federal prosecutor, explained that domestic violence and gang threats had always been considered to be lawful reasons to seek asylum, until recently.
“Jeff Sessions is now saying it is not grounds,” Hostin said.
McCain said she did not necessarily agree with the policy, but she was only trying to explain the politics of the decision — but Goldberg said she was conflating two separate issues.
“I think we all kind of get that part,” Goldberg said. “I think what I specifically am talking about are people who are lawfully coming here, not people who are trying to bust into the country. I’m talking about people who are lawfully seeking asylum — that’s the difference for me.”