In the final weeks leading up to the midterm elections, President Trump has attempted to motivate his base of voters by focusing on a caravan of migrants from Central America, suggesting that the approaching caravan is similar to an “invasion” and alluding to possible military force to ensure the group will not be allowed to cross the border.
Trump’s tactic caught the attention of late-night comedian John Oliver, who decided to dedicate the final pre-election episode of Last Week Tonight to reminding voters of Trump’s terrible track record on immigration by taking a look back on “the most emblematic moment” of his presidency thus far: the separation of parents and children at the border.
In the 18-minute video, Oliver passionately attacks Trump horrific policy of separating families at the border, noting that separating children from their parents at such a young age can have a devastating effect on them emotionally and developmentally. He also reminded viewers that along with the policy being downright inhumane, its implementation was also an absolute mess. During the height of the family separation, government officials were repeatedly shown to do an abysmal job of keeping track of the children who had been forcibly separated from their parents.
On the whole, Oliver noted that on every conceivable level, the family separation policy was a disaster and paints a grim picture of Trump’s consistent framing of immigrants as enemies, even children. As Oliver notes in the video, this sort of tactic should not come as a surprise, as Trump has built his political career on the foundation of stirring up fear through anti-immigration rhetoric, including his recent threat to end birthright citizenship via executive order.
“It was cruel, sloppy, needless, racist, and ultimately, exactly what we should have expected,” said Oliver. “And I would argue the biggest threat to our status as ‘the greatest nation on earth’ is not a caravan a thousand miles south of us. It’s whoever thinks that doing this is an acceptable fucking response.”