Country music singer Willie Nelson has issued a statement about the new federal policy that calls for the children of immigrants to be separated from their parents when they come into the U.S., saying the kids are "being mistreated."
In May, the Trump administration instituted a zero-tolerance policy that called for all immigrants crossing the border illegally to be prosecuted. Because minors cannot be held in criminal custody, close to 500 children have been separated from their parents since the policy was enacted.
"What's going on at our southern border is outrageous," Nelson says in a statement, as reported by Rolling Stone Country. "Christians everywhere should be up in arms. What happened to 'Bring us your tired and weak and we will make them strong?' This is still the promise land," Nelson says in a seeming reference to his 1986 hit, "Living in the Promiseland."
In 2014, Nelson talked to Rolling Stone about the issue. "I've been watching, and the only thing we can do is take care of those kids, whatever it takes. They're scared. They're being mistreated. And it's not a good way to start off your life. But it's a good opportunity for us to show a little bit of humanitarianism and take care of those kids. I know a lot of people want to send them back. I guess the closer you are to the situation, the more extreme emotions you have about it, but it seems to me the old golden rule, 'Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,' or 'treat other people like you want to be treated' ... Treat those kids like they were your kids."