Despite positioning herself as an advocate for women and children and having proclaimed during the presidential campaign that being a mother is “a woman’s most important job,” Ivanka Trump has remained publicly silent about child separation at the U.S. border. Until now, that is: On Thursday, Trump gave an interview to Axios in which she finally spoke out against the practice … six weeks after her father caved to public pressure and signed an executive order to (theoretically) end it.
Here’s what she said:
That was a low point for me as well. I feel very strongly about that, and I am very vehemently against family separation and the separation of parents and children. … I think immigration is incredibly complex as a topic, illegal immigration is incredibly complicated. I am a daughter of an immigrant, my mother grew up in Communist Czech Republic, but we are a country of laws. … we have to be very careful about incentivizing behavior that puts children at risk of being trafficked, at risk of entering this country with coyotes or making an incredibly dangerous journey alone. These are not easy issues, these are incredibly difficult issues and like the rest of the country, I experience them in a very emotional way.
“’But somehow I got through it by saying and doing nothing,’” said Stephen Colbert, mocking Trump on The Late Show on Thursday night. Colbert also pointed out that Trump’s use of the past tense suggests that she considers the crisis over when it is very much still underway, comparing her comments to someone who reflects on a fire while they’re still inside the burning house. The trauma of forcible separation does not magically disappear once children and parents are reunited, and hundreds of parents may have already been deported without their children. At least one child who was in ICE custody died shortly after being released from the detention center.
“Ivanka assures us that her dad stealing children is giving her the feels,” said Colbert. “Just imagine how upset she’ll be when the feds drag away Don Jr.”