Former Maricopa County, Arizona, Sheriff Joe Arpaio suggested on Thursday that parents who bring their children into the US illegally should be held responsible if their kids are separated from them at the border.
“Why don’t we blame the families, the adults, for taking the chance, violating the law, coming across our border with these young kids? They’re the ones who should be held responsible,” Arpaio said during an interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo on “Cuomo Prime Time.”
Arpaio’s comments came after Cuomo asked if he believes separating families at the border “sound(s) like the right thing to do.”
CNN reported in May that the Trump administration is moving to refer anyone found crossing into the US illegally for federal prosecution, meaning that adults crossing with children will be separated as the parents await criminal proceedings.
Arpaio, who said in January that he would run for a Senate seat in Arizona, received a pardon from President Donald Trump last year after he was convicted of criminal contempt and accused of violating a court order in a racial profiling case.
CNN’s Tal Kopan and Eric Bradner contributed to this report.