Arnold Schwarzenegger has taken a powerful stand against the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy that continues to tear apart parents and children at the border.
The former California governor took to Twitter on Tuesday to say that if anyone should be held in cages while the government works on comprehensive immigration reform, it’s “politicians who don’t do their jobs … not innocent kids.”
“As an immigrant, I know the magnetic power of America’s greatness. As a former border Governor, I know the importance of securing our border and fixing our absurdly broken immigration system. As an American, I know that kids shouldn’t be pawns while the ‘adults’ figure it out,” the Austrian-born actor and politician tweeted.
“The administration is right that we need to fix our immigration system,” he continued. “But if anybody is going to be in a cage while we wait for a comprehensive reform, let’s make it the politicians who don’t do their jobs in the cages, not innocent kids.”
Since early May, 2,342 children have been separated from their parents after crossing the Southern U.S. border, according to the Department of Homeland Security. The crisis comes as a result of the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance” policy for illegal entry into the United States.
On Tuesday night, The Associated Press reported that infants and young children who have been separated from their families are being cared for in “tender care” facilities.
The AP also reported that hundreds of children are being held in cages in detention centers in Texas near the border.
Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley of Oregon visited one detention center for unaccompanied immigrant children two weeks ago in McAllen, Texas, later telling CNN that he saw “hundreds of children locked up in cages there at that facility.”
He added that the “cages [were] made out of fencing and then wire and nets stretched across the top of them so people can’t climb out of them.”
President Donald Trump, after weeks of saying only Democrats can fix the migrant-child crisis, did an about-face on Wednesday, promising to sign an executive order reversing his administration’s policy of separating children from their parents when they illegally cross at the border.
It was totally unclear exactly what Trump would sign.
Schwarzenegger’s ex-wife, Maria Shriver, also addressed the migrant-child crisis on Twitter, calling on President Trump’s daughter and adviser, Ivanka, to “step up” and speak out publicly against her father’s policy.
“Now would be a good time for Ivanka Trump to show what it means to be an advisor on women’s issues, a proponent of female empowerment,” Shriver tweeted. “You can’t be an advocate for women, mothers and not speak up about what is happening to women and children at this moment.”