Stephen Colbert began his monologue on “The Late Show” Tuesday night with some jokes about Donald Trump’s pick for the Supreme Court. However, his best zingers actually came after that when he contrasted the story of the Thai cave rescue to that of the story of the United States’ detainment camps for immigrant children.
“In tough times like these, it’s nice to get good news every now and again. And I am so happy to report that all 12 Thai boys and their coach have been rescued from the cave they’ve been trapped in for more than two weeks. That feels good,” Colbert said, to cheers from the studio audience.
“It’s a great story that gives everyone hope, and reminds us of the importance of permission slips for field trips to flooded caves.”
Then Colbert got to the point.
“Everybody loves this story. Are you listening, Mr. President? Freeing children makes people like you,” Colbert quipped, again to cheers from the audience.
“Meanwhile, the United States is still imprisoning thousands of migrant children that were taken from their parents. in a court ruling last month, the judge gave Trump until today to reunite all of the kids aged five and under with their parents. But the good guys over at ICE say that of 102 such children now in custody, authorities have been able to identify and locate the parents of only 54. Because when they separated the families, there was no reunification plan in place.
“So there are 48 toddlers still in cages. These kids would have a better chance of being reunited with their parents if they went spelunking with a Thai soccer coach.”
It turns out that the Thai cave rescue story didn’t lift Colbert’s spirits for all that long.
“Even the plan for the kids who are being returned to their parents is unsettling,” Colbert continued. “According to reports, in an effort to avoid media and protesters, staff at child detention centers have been instructed that they are to put the children in vans and take them to locations that are as yet unknown to them. So we’re at the point, as a nation, where the good news is that the government is throwing kids into unmarked vans. Next, we’re supposed to be cheering on America’s heroic sewer clowns.”
At this point, “The Late Show” displayed an image of Pennywise in a storm drain from the 1990 “IT” miniseries.
“But every detainee gets to go in front of an immigration court. Including recently in Phoenix, when a one-year-old had an appearance in front of an immigration judge, who said, ‘I’m embarrassed to ask it, I don’t know who you would explain it to unless you think that a one-year-old could learn immigration law.’ They better hope not,” Colbert said as he slipped into an impersonation of a baby lawyer.
“Your honor, I may be a simple country baby, but even I can tell that the rank smell of oppression is in the air — possibly because I made boom-boom in my diddy,” Colbert said. “Your honor, permission to approach the bench for a fresh pair of Pampers, perhaps a handful of Cheerios to work on my fine motor skills? Where is justice? Where is justice, I say? Because justice rolled behind the couch and I lack object permanence.”
You can watch this portion of Colbert’s monologue from Tuesday’s episode of “The Late Show” in the video embedded at the top of this post.