Mike Pompeo has great timing.
The U.S. secretary of state released a statement Wednesday morning to celebrate the U.S.’s treatment of refugees and migrants on World Refugee Day — alongside the Trump administration detaining undocumented children, including babies and toddlers, after forcibly separating them from their parents when they come to the border often fleeing violence and poverty in their home country. Some of the facilities include cage-like enclosures where the kids sleep on mattresses on the floor and even temporary tent-like structures in the south Texas desert.
“Through active humanitarian diplomacy, humanitarian assistance, and tireless efforts to end conflicts and achieve durable solutions for persecuted people around the world, we will continue to help the world’s most vulnerable refugees, reflecting the deeply held values of the American people,” according to Pompeo’s statement.
The secretary's sentiment has unsurprisingly triggered ire and outrage. The Trump administration has faced mounting backlash over its “zero tolerance” immigration policy, which requires that Border Patrol arrest and detain all adults trying to enter the country illegally — without their children. Trump has repeatedly tried to blame the policy on Democrats, even though his attorney general, Jeff Sessions, announced and implemented the new enforcement rules in April.
Furthermore, Trump has, since the beginning of his campaign, expressed contempt for refugees and undocumented immigrants and the supposed dangers they pose to the United States. Just this week, President Trump said that he won’t allow the U.S. to turn into a “migrant camp.”
“The United States will not be a migrant camp, and it will not be a refugee holding facility — won’t be,” Trump said at a meeting of the National Space Council Monday. “You look at what’s happening in Europe. You look at what’s happening in other places. We can’t allow that to happen to the United States.”
“Not on my watch,” Trump added.
World Refugee Day is observed on June 20 to raise awareness to the plight of people forced to flee from their homes. The United Nations has recognized World Refugee Day since 2001. On Tuesday, the U.S. announced that it would leave the UN Human Rights Council.
Cover image: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at an Economic Club of Detroit luncheon in Detroit, Monday, June 18, 2018. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)