A former head of the Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency Michael Hayden on Saturday compared the Trump administration’s immigration policies to Nazi Germany.
In a tweet, Hayden wrote, “Other governments have separated mothers and children,” under a black and white photo of the front of the Auschwitz death camp as seen from the railroad tracks approaching the former Nazi camp.
The tweet is a response to reports Friday that under the US government’s so-called zero tolerance policy against illegal migrants, nearly 2,000 children were separated from their parents or adult guardians after entering the United States over a six-week period.
The figures obtained by the Department of Homeland Security and published by The Associated Press showed that 1,995 minors were separated from 1,940 adults from April 19 through May 31. The separations were not broken down by age, and included separations for illegal entry, immigration violations or possible criminal conduct by the adult.
Other governments have separated mothers and children pic.twitter.com/tvlBkGjT0h
— Gen Michael Hayden (@GenMhayden) June 16, 2018
Department of Homeland Security officials are now referring all cases of illegal entry for criminal prosecution. US protocol prohibits detaining children with their parents because the children are not charged with a crime and the parents are.
Stories of weeping children torn from the arms of their frightened parents have flooded the media and the policy has been widely criticized by church groups, politicians and children’s advocates who say it is inhumane. A battle in Congress is brewing in part over the issue.