Fellow conservative newsmen Sean Hannity and Geraldo Rivera got into a heated debate on Tuesday over the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance immigration policy. Indeed, egregious revelations into the separation of undocumented children and parents at the border — a result of Trump's xenophobic immigration policy — has resulted in many prominent conservatives speaking out against the administration.
Newly released footage revealed migrant children being housed in cages in Customs and Border Protection (CBP) facilities in South Texas. The Associated Press visited the site on Monday, describing the facility as such: "Inside an old warehouse in South Texas, hundreds of children wait in a series of cages created by metal fencing. One cage had 20 children inside. Scattered about are bottles of water, bags of chips and large foil sheets intended to serve as blankets."
The conditions have been described as constituting “abuse and inhumane treatment,” a charge that the CBP denies.
ProPublica released an audio recording of the detention center, in which children can be heard crying in the background, calling out for their mothers and fathers. The audio recording drew further criticism of Trump's policies, as politicians and pundits across the political spectrum condemned the administration.
Geraldo Rivera was certainly fired up on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show, where he told Hannity, “Politics aside, this is cruelty as policy. This is an obscenity. This is the government of the United States and the president that we both love, advocating a system by which young children are torn from their mothers.”
“History will judge us, Sean,” Rivera continued. “We must take a stand on something. Here is where we draw the line.”
Rivera became further incensed after Hannity claimed the issue along the border would be easily resolved if the Democrats “fixed the law,” parroting President Trump’s false claims that the Democrats are to blame for the separation of families.
In previous remarks to Fox News, the president said, “The Democrats forced that law upon our nation. I hate it. I hate to see separation of parents and children. That’s the Democrats' law. We can change it tonight. We can change it right now.”
But Rivera did not accept Hannity’s argument, claiming the president had the power and choice to end family separation. “2,300 children have been torn from their parents forcibly. These are little babies, 18 months old. These are 10-year-olds with disabilities. Taken from their parents. This is impossible,” Rivera said. “We can’t condone this. The Republicans are the party of faith and family. When did we become the party of child abuse?”
Rivera’s comments indicated the polarization occurring within the Republican Party over the zero-tolerance immigration policy. For many on the right, the forcible separation of families transcends politics and speaks more to human morality.
Towards the end of the video segment, Hannity turned his attention to Judicial Watch’s Chris Farrell; Farrell said, “the demagoguery and the virtue posting” from opponents of Trump’s policy are “repulsive.” He then said the critics are being “hysterical” to which Rivera responded, “This is not hysterical. This is not hysterical! This is child abuse. How dare you! How dare you.”
Watch the clip below: