‘Morning Joe': Immigrant Kids Detained on the Border Are ‘Being Taken Hostage’

“Held in cages, away from their parents, being used as pawns to get money, to build a wall,” says show regular Mike Barnicle

Last Updated: June 19, 2018 @ 6:07 AM

The set of “Morning Joe” warned viewers Tuesday that children were being “taken hostage” by the U.S. government as the rhetoric continues to escalate surrounding the Trump administration’s policy of separating the families of migrant children at the border.

“Sadly, realistically, this is the American story now,” said show regular Mike Barnicle, “This is our story. The story of children being taken hostage on a hot Texas landscape, held in cages, away from their parents, being used as pawns to get money, to build a wall, by a Republican party whose policy is to separate them from their families, from their mothers and their fathers, that’s our story, in America today.”

“It’s up to the people of America and the people who represent them in Congress to decide whether that’s the story they want to go with,” he added.

Over the past 48 hours, media attention to the situation at the border has sharply intensified. On Monday, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders stepped aside from her normal responsibilities and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was flown in from New Orleans to defend the issue during a contentious press briefing.

On Monday, photos and reports from journalists confirmed that separated migrants were being kept in cages in at least one facility in Texas. The Associated Press reporting was unequivocal.

“Inside an old warehouse in South Texas, hundreds of children wait in a series of cages created by metal fencing. One cage had 20 children inside. Scattered about are bottles of water, bags of chips and large foil sheets intended to serve as blankets,” it reported.

Pro-Trump media has largely downplayed the issue. On Monday “Fox & Friends,” dismissed the cages as “walls out of chain link fences,’ while primetime host Laura Ingraham said the centers reminded her of “summer camp.”