Amid continuing debate over the United States’ border separation policy, GOP lawmakers aren’t safe from criticism, even on Father’s Day.
On Saturday afternoon, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan shared a video about how becoming a father changed him. “Liza, Charlie, and Sam are my highest priority,” Ryan wrote in his tweet.
— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) June 16, 2018
Ryan’s message, while seemingly innocent enough, didn’t sit well with critics of the current immigration policy. Singer and Oscar winner John Legend retweeted Ryan’s message but added a comment: “Reunite the families at the border and we can talk about father’s day.”
Seriously, fuck you. Reunite the families at the border and we can talk about father's day. https://t.co/bbG0gVqfzq
— John Legend (@johnlegend) June 16, 2018
As a father of two with wife Chrissy Teigen, it’s understandable Legend can relate to the pain of families being torn apart.
Other people shared similar sentiments in the replies to Ryan’s tweet. “How about the dads having their children torn from their arms? Can you spare a thought for them?” one person wrote. “Innocent kids are being f***ing imprisoned, Paul,” another person tweeted.
How about the dads having their children torn from their arms? Can you spare a thought for them? Dads who have no health insurance to take care of their families? Dads deported and taken from their families? Anything?
— Karen Campbell (@kaicee118) June 16, 2018
innocent kids are being fucking imprisoned, Paul. Pull your head out of your fucking ass.
— Atticus Goldfinch (@AtticusGF) June 16, 2018
One called his words empty.
So did the day a child was ripped from his father’s arms in a policy decision you will do nothing to stop with your empty words. https://t.co/g7KQ2wEOt9
— Lisa Braun Dubbels (@lisadubbels) June 17, 2018
The discussion over the border separation policy continues to divide Americans. On Friday, President Trump again blamed Democrats for the policy, though that’s not entirely accurate, as Yahoo News’ Laina Yost pointed out. When reporters told the president that no U.S. law requires that parents be separated from their children at the border, Trump said that “the Democrats gave us the laws.” As Yost reported, the House will vote on two immigration bills next week, one of which would ban border separations of parents and children.
It’s worth noting that Congressional Republicans, including Ryan himself, have spoken out against the border separation policy. “We don’t want kids to be separated from their parents,” Ryan said at a press conference on Thursday. Still, as the House Speaker, he’s understandably getting flack about what’s happening.
Legend’s wife, model and cookbook author Chrissy Teigen, recently joined the criticism of the GOP. Teigen wished President Trump a “Happy Birthday” on Twitter by sharing that she’d be donating to the ACLU to “Make Trump’s Birthday Great Again.”
She also shared an image of Legend in celebration of Father’s day.
People have also been criticizing Ivanka Trump for her Father’s Day post. The first daughter wished her husband and her dad a happy Father’s Day on Instagram, and commenters were quick to link it with the border policy. As in Ryan’s case, people criticized the post because children are being separated from their parents at the border. “I don’t understand how you sleep at night,” one person commented. “It must be nice to have your criminal father around you for Father’s Day,” another wrote. Amid the criticism, though, there were also plenty of messages wishing the Trumps well on the holiday.
People aren’t suggesting that Paul Ryan or President Trump don’t celebrate Father’s Day, or that they shouldn’t be with their families this weekend. But comments like Legend’s are a reminder that children in detention centers might not see their parents this weekend, and
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they don’t know when they will, which is something the United States shouldn’t lose sight of.