While she has not often waded into political conversations in her years since leaving the White House, former first lady Laura Bush added her voice to those condemning the separation of children and parents in U.S. border cities via an op-ed published in the Washington Post Sunday night.
"I live in a border state. I appreciate the need to enforce and protect our international boundaries, but this zero-tolerance policy is cruel," she writes. "It is immoral. And it breaks my heart." Bush notes that between April 19 and May 31, the Department of Homeland Security has sent nearly 2,000 children to mass detention centers or foster care—and that more than 100 of these children are younger than 4 years old.
"Our government should not be in the business of warehousing children in converted box stores or making plans to place them in tent cities in the desert outside of El Paso," she continues, before comparing the emerging images to the internment of Japanese Americans by the U.S. government during World War II.
Bush does not mention President Donald Trump, or anyone else in his administration by name, but she does call upon those in Washington to find better solutions to immigration issues, and to stop separating children from their parents altogether. "People on all sides agree that our immigration system isn’t working, but the injustice of zero tolerance is not the answer...In 2018, can we not as a nation find a kinder, more compassionate and more moral answer to this current crisis? I, for one, believe we can."
The op-ed elicited responses online from many influential voices, including a proud tweet from Bush's daughter, Jenna Bush Hager.
Of course, some were angered by her stance with one Twitter user calling her "hypocritical" and a "globalist" while others pondered what the response on the right might be.
President Trump has not yet commented directly on Bush's op-ed.