Appearing Friday at the Carter Center, former President Jimmy Carter accused the Trump administration of torturing and kidnapping migrants children housed at U.S.-Mexico border facilities.
A partial transcript is as follows:
JON MEACHAM: I’m interested, Mr. President, in your views on what’s happening at the U.S.-Mexican border with the family separation and your reaction to what we’re seeing now there and what you think ordinary Americans can do about it.
FORMER PRESIDENT JIMMY CARTER: Every day, we send a disgraceful signal around the world that this is what the present United States government stands for, and that is torture and kidnapping of little children, separation from their parents and deprivation of those who are incarcerated. There are thousands of unknown children that are still incarcerated that hasn’t been revealed by the government itself.
I think what ICE is doing, under the orders of the president, is a disgrace to the United States, and I hope it will soon be ended. Maybe not until the 2020 election. I’m not sure, but either that or before, I hope, it will end as we change presidents.
MEACHAM: Would it be basic political activism that you would advise people worried about it? Just get in and try to change the president?
FORMER PRESIDENT CARTER: I think if everyone in the United States would take the same position that the court and Senate do and promote human rights to the basic measurement of how governments are performing, that would be the best thing to do. What we do is apply human rights in the finest and most precise way we can and the most fulfilling way we can comply with the Universal Declaration as it’s humanly possible.
If you apply the basic human rights status to every incident what happens in international diplomacy and in everyday life, that would be the best thing for the United States to do. I hope all Americans will take this on.
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