Former Clinton Campaign Adviser on Migrant Family Separation: ‘We’re Not Up in Arms Because These Children Are Not White’

Zerlina Maxwell, an MSNBC analyst and former adviser to Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign, said Monday that there has not been a public outcry about the Trump administration's policy of separating migrant children from their parents at the southern border because the children "are not white."

"The child separation policy is a racist policy," Maxwell said on MSNBC. "The reason why we're not up in arms is because these children are not white. And the fact that they separated these children from their parents and had no intention of reuniting them or tracking them in any way shows that that was not even a thought they had, that they might need to reunite these kids because they didn't care enough to think that through."

Maxwell added that she believes there are not massive protests across the country because the children are "not white."

"That makes me sad every single day, because these children should be protected no matter who they are, and putting them into cages is something that I think all Americans should remember every single day when we watch this president, as ridiculous as he is," she continued. "He is lying, he is saying crazy things, and sometimes he can even be entertaining because it is so ridiculous, but we must remember that the policies that he is implementing are cruel unnecessarily. And it is hurting communities of color, and that's a burden we all share as citizens. He's doing this in our name."

Host Nicolle Wallace said she agreed with Maxwell and cited former First Lady Laura Bush's criticisms of the child separation policy. Wallace then asked Maxwell why Republicans did not put "pressure" on the administration to stop the policy.

"Because the children are not white," Maxwell responded.

Maxwell went on to say that people would be "storming the Capitol" if they truly believed the lives of these children matter. She then described images of children being reunited with their parents.

"Those are the types of images that 40 years from now we're going to be looking back at with shame," she said.

Trump suspended the practice of separating families, which was part of his administration's "zero tolerance" policy against illegal immigration, through an executive order in June 2018, amid political pressure, especially from Republicans.

"All Americans are rightly horrified by the images we are seeing on the news, children in tears pulled away from their mothers and fathers," Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) said at the time. "This must stop. Now."

A spokeswoman for First Lady Melania Trump released a statement in June also decrying the policy.

"Mrs. Trump hates to see children separated from their families and hopes both sides of the aisle can finally come together to achieve successful immigration reform," the spokeswoman said. "She believes we need to be a country that follows all laws, but also a country that governs with heart."

When signing the executive order, the president said that, while his administration has "zero tolerance for people that enter our country illegally," the measure would keep families together and he "didn't like the sight or the feeling of families being separated."