8:49am PT by Katherine Schaffstall
John Oliver Bashes Trump Administration's Immigrant Family Separation Policy
On Sunday's Last Week Tonight, John Oliver addressed Trump's controversial immigration policy, which has resulted in the children of illegal immigrants being separated from their parents when they're caught.
The host explained that the policy shift was put into action by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the "least fun thing to find in a Kinder egg." He continued, "Sessions basically started a policy of incarcerating people who cross the border illegally, knowing full well that that incarceration would mean they were separated from their children. Many of [these kids] are less than 10 years old with no clear plan as to when they might reunited and that is objectively awful, and yet Trump inexplicably argued that Sessions had no choice."
The policy has received criticism from both Democrats and Republicans. Former First Lady Laura Bush referred to the policy as "cruel" and "immoral" in a guest column for The Washington Post. Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine said that she supports tighter border security, but disagrees with the policy to separate families. "What the administration has decided to do is to separate children from their parents to try to send a message that if you cross the border with children, your children are going to be ripped away from you," she said. "That's traumatizing to the children who are innocent victims, and it is contrary to our values in this country."
Oliver shared a clip of Trump blaming Democrats for the policy. "The Democrats gave us the laws," said Trump. "Now, I want the laws to be beautiful, humane, but strong."
"Okay, first. Beautiful, humane, but strong," repeated Oliver. "That is not how you describe a law. That's how you describe a Viola Davis character in a movie called It Hasn't Even Been Written Yet but She'll Still Win the Oscar."
"Also, Democrats did not give them these laws because, and I cannot stress this enough, there is no law that suddenly required separating parents from their children. This was the result of a deliberate policy choice by Jeff Sessions, a man so small he can wear, and this is true, a raspberry as a hat."
Oliver continued, "It's a little weird that Trump tried to distance himself from this decision because Sessions doubled down on Thursday saying that this command came right from the very top." The host then shared a clip of Sessions quoting the Bible and stating that it is the duty of citizens to obey the law.
Oliver reminded his viewers that the Bible is not a government document. "From a policy perspective, he might as well be citing Green Eggs and Ham saying, 'We must keep children in a box, we must keep them with a fox,' which would be a terrible policy."
He said that Romans 13 "is possibly the worst Bible passage to bring up" since it was commonly used during Civil War times to defend slavery. "I know that you're probably thinking, 'Wait, wait, wait, he wouldn’t align himself with slave owners, even accidently,'" he said. "Well I'm sorry, but he did."
Sarah Huckabee Sanders also defended Sessions' use of the Bible by stating, "It is very biblical to enforce the law." Oliver responded, "Lots of things are said in the Bible, but that doesn't mean you should do them. At one point the Bible demands that the head of government get 100 foreskins, but I don't think that Sanders is looking for Congress to gather together and start slicing dicks. And the Trump administration may want to go a little easy on holding the Bible up as a moral code, cause let's remember the Bible is not a big fan of adultery, gluttony, coveting your neighbor's wife, pride or wrath."
He concluded, "What I'm saying here is you probably shouldn't use the Bible to justify separating children from parents, but if you do, maybe make sure that you're not already breaking so many of its rules that God has to write an extra commandment that says, 'I was fucking serious.'"
Oliver's take on the policy follows criticism from fellow late-night personalities Stephen Colbert and Samantha Bee. After Colbert explained that 1,358 children have been separated from their parents in May, he said, "Now, if that sounds evil, then good news, your ears are working. Here's the bad news: The United States? That's you and me who are putting up with our government saying to immigrants, 'If you come to the U.S., the worst thing imaginable will happen to you. We will take your children away from you with no guarantee you'll see them again.' That is using cruelty as a deterrent."
Bee acknowledged that immigration policies in the United States have always been bad, but Trump is "making it so much worse." She also pleaded for Ivanka Trump to talk some sense into her father about the "evil" policy. "Put on something tight and low-cut and tell your father to fucking stop it," she said.