Simon Coveney condemns Trump’s immigration policy

Separating children from parents as part of border controls ‘immoral and shocking’

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney has criticised the separation of children from their parents on the US-Mexico border as "indefensible, immoral and shocking".

Mr Coveney condemned the actions of the Trump administration and invoked President Donald Trump’s election slogan: “Make America Great Again”.

Mr Coveney tweeted: “Separating children from parents as part of ‘border controls’ is indefensible, immoral and shocking. This kind of leadership gives license to other countries to follow inhumane policies towards vulnerable refugees. Is this making America great? @RTENewsNow.”

President Trump has defended the policy, which has seen nearly 2,000 children separated from their parents at the border between mid-April and the end of May.

Mr Trump said he would not allow the United States border to become a "migrant camp", and cited tensions over migration in countries such as Germany and Sweden in defence of his actions.

Rebuked by Melania

He has also been rebuked by his wife Melania, who has been reported as having said that she “hates to see children separated from their families”.

Labour Party leader Brendan Howlin called on Mr Coveney to raise the issues of the separation with the US secretary of state Mike Pompeo.

He said there is no US ambassador in Ireland at present so Mr Coveney should go straight to Mr Pompeo.

Mr Howlin said: “I think people across the world and in the United States are appalled at the implications of this policy, which sees young children being separated from their parents.

“It is good to hear the First Lady voice her concerns on the issue, in stark contrast to the dishonest and disingenuous commentary being offered by the President.

"The former first Lady Laura Bush has called the policy cruel and immoral. I think parents the world over are horrified to see the United States behave in this fashion. Whatever the issues are around immigration, it is simply unacceptable to make children the primary scapegoats."

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy is a news reporter with The Irish Times