Politics

Tom Steyer Says President Trump Has ‘Tortured Children’ And ‘Committed Crimes Against Humanity’

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Jason Hopkins Immigration and politics reporter
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Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer accused President Donald Trump of heinous crimes and overt racism during a television interview Tuesday.

Steyer appeared on C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal” and the host asked him to give a reaction to the Supreme Court’s decision to lift lower courts’ injunctions against the Trump administration’s “public charge” rule, which can deny permanent status to immigrants who have used taxpayer-funded benefits. The California billionaire, after declaring his opposition to the ruling, took a broad swipe at the president’s immigration agenda.

“What you are referring to is the ruling saying that, if you are going to come here, if you are poor, if you are going to start at the bottom and need some help to get going, that you can be denied a green card and you can no longer emigrate to the United States of America. That’s completely contrary to our history,” Steyer said.

“Mr. Trump has politicized immigration. He has used it really to talk about race,” he continued.

Democratic Presidential candidate Tom Steyer speaks during a town hall at the Eastern State Penitentiary on Oct. 28, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)

Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer speaks during a town hall at the Eastern State Penitentiary on Oct. 28, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)

“He is not opposed to immigration — he is opposed to immigration by nonwhite people, and under those rules, he has inflamed his supporters,” Steyer said. “He has committed crimes on international law, but he has also tortured children, and he has committed crimes against humanity.”

At no point did Steyer offer any examples or evidence of what “crimes against humanity” the president allegedly committed. The mention of “tortured children” is likely in reference to reports of detained migrant children at the U.S.-Mexico border — something that was a common occurrence in previous administrations, including the Obama era.

This is not the first time Steyer has accused Trump of opposing “nonwhite immigration.” He said as much during a December Democratic debate and also said at the time that the president was scaring white people into believing that they were losing control of their lives. Much like his appearance on C-SPAN, Steyer offered no examples at the December debate to substantiate his claims.

The billionaire hedge fund manager detailed Tuesday how he would reform U.S. immigration if elected to the White House, implying that he would reverse Trump policies that prevent foreign nationals from applying for asylum, provide a pathway to citizenship for the country’s illegal alien population and make an overall shift back to the immigration system seen in the Obama-era. (RELATED: Bernie Sanders Pledges His First Executive Orders Would Reverse Trump’s Immigration Agenda)

“I wound end his illegal and, in my mind, highly unethical treatment of people coming here, seeking sanctuary. I would go back to a lot of the Obama-era policies, including [Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals] DACA, [Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents] DAPA, [temporary protected status] TPS,” Steyer said, adding:

“I would end the Muslim travel ban. I would try to get comprehensive immigration reform for the 12 million people who have lived here an average of 15 years — it is an open secret, everybody knows they are here.”

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“They are working, and their kids go to school. I’d give them legal status and a path to citizenship, and I would go back to the idea that we control our borders,” he said.

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