Noam Chomsky on Family Separation and the US Roots of Today’s Refugee Crisis

AMY GOODMAN: Federal officials say 711 children remain separated from their parents, despite Thursday’s court-imposed deadline for the Trump administration to reunite all migrate children separated from their parents by immigration officials at the border. More than 400 of the children have parents who have already been deported from the United States.

Well, on Thursday, I spoke with world-renowned political dissident, author and linguist Noam Chomsky. He is a laureate professor in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Arizona and professor emeritus at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he taught for more than 50 years. His recent books include Global Discontents: Conversations on the Rising Threats to Democracy and Requiem for the American Dream: The 10 Principles of Concentration of Wealth & Power. He joined us from Tucson, Arizona, and I began by asking Noam Chomsky about the Trump administration’s family separation policy.

NOAM CHOMSKY: Well, it’s a major scandal, of course, and properly condemned throughout the world. Taking children away from their parents, sending them off somewhere, losing track of them, you know, it’s hard to think of a more brutal and sadistic policy. Here in Tucson, there’s a lot of — there’s a good deal of activism concerned with immigrants. There are groups that set up camps in the desert to try to help people fleeing. And, of course, it’s a very live issue. It’s not very far from the border. In fact, when I give talks here, I often refer to the area as “occupied Mexico,” which actually is a good designation. But the immigration policy altogether is a grotesque moral scandal here, and in Europe, I should say.

AMY GOODMAN: I want to turn to President Trump speaking earlier this month.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Well, I have a solution: Tell people not to come to our country illegally. That’s…

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