Sen. Dick Durbin: Trapped Thai Soccer Team Like Detained Illegal Immigrants

"Trapped in a bureaucratic cave."

Protesters marched against ICE's actions and the president's support of separating families. in New York City, US, on 19 June 2018.
Photo by Shay Horse/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Democratic Illinois Senator Dick Durbin told NBC's Meet the Press Sunday that detained illegal immigrants awaiting asylum hearings at detainment centers along the United States's southern border are exactly like the 12 Thai soccer players trapped inside a mountain.

Echoing host Chuck Todd's thoughts and prayers for the children in Thailand, currently on a six-hour trek out of a rapidly flooding cave trail, Durbin claimed illegal immigrant detainees were in a similar cave of bureaucracy.

“Hearts and prayers are with those boys in Thailand, trapped in the cave,” Durbin told Todd. “I hope our hearts and prayers are also with thousands of children, toddlers and infants, removed from their parents by the Trump Administration, under zero tolerance. They’re trapped in a bureaucratic cave, too, so let’s not forget them.”

Durbin also accused President Donald Trump of holding migrant children, separated from their parents under an Obama-era policy change, "hostage" but did not indicate what Trump's ransom might be, only that the president is being "mean."

"What we see in this process, forcibly removing children from their parents at the border, and then putting them adrift on a bureaucratic sea where they can’t even find them — if you took a child into a hospital for treatment, the first thing they do is strap a bracelet on the wrist to make sure they aren’t lost in the hospital,” Durbin railed. “It is a convergence of cruelty and incompetence that brings us to this moment. Now, it is up to a federal judge in San Diego to enforce his order this Tuesday so that children under the age of 5 are reunited.”

Durbin is clearly not familiar with the difference between a system run by the federal government and a system run by private industry. The administration says they are currently working through the process of reuniting around 2,100 children. At least a thousand have been handed back to parents.

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