Stephen Colbert implores voters to punish Trump for family-separation policy: 'You can't say you don't know'

Stephen Proctor
·3 min read

On The Late Show With Stephen Colbert Wednesday night, Colbert set the jokes aside for a moment and railed against the Trump administration for the lasting effects of its family-separation policy at the southern border. The policy went into effect in May of 2018, after which, thousands of children were separated from their parents. Last year, a federal judge ordered the families reunited. But the cruel policy that seemed to have been forgotten in the minds of many Americans was pushed to the forefront recently when it was reported that the parents of 545 children can’t be located, partly because many have been deported. Colbert said that this kind of policy and the devastating effects it’s going to have on hundreds of families is on the ballot this election.

“Think about the sheer number here: 545 kids. That’s not a child on a milk carton, that’s the whole dairy aisle,” Colbert said. “And yet, there are still people who haven’t made up their minds. There are still people who are going to vote for him. And I know that people vote on a lot of different issues, but now that we know that these children were stolen from their parents and cannot be returned because of the negligence of this administration, that is one of the things you’re voting on. You can’t say you don’t know.”

The five U.S. attorney’s along the southern border reportedly pushed back against the policy at first, but, according to a report by the Department of Justice inspector general, were told by former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, “We need to take away children.” Former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein pushed even further, telling the prosecutors it did not matter how young the children were. While Colbert had some especially harsh words for the two of them, he believes that all Americans bear some responsibility.

“I don’t believe the American people are evil,” Colbert said. “Maybe 545 kids is too many to wrap our heads around. That’s eight school buses full of children. Maybe we feel too guilty to understand the magnitude of that crime and our responsibility.”

And Colbert believes it’s up to the American people to collectively condemn this sort of policy and the people behind it.

“We have two weeks to decide what kind of country this is gonna be,” Colbert said. “Either this inhumane behavior is gonna be punished by the voters, or just change the Statue of Liberty to read, ‘Give me your tired, your poor, and half-a-million dollars in unmarked bills if you want to see the kids again.’”

The Late Show With Stephen Colbert airs weeknights at 11:35 p.m. on CBS.

Watch Samantha Bee explain why ‘more than a million’ mail-in ballots could be thrown out:

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