Former Arkansas Gov.Mike Huckabee(R) suggested that MS-13 gang members are supporters ofNancy Pelosi, two days after Pelosi condemned the policy ofseparating children from parentsat the U.S.-Mexico border.
“Nancy Pelosi introduces her campaign committee for the take back of the House,” Huckabee tweeted, along with a photo of men making signs associated with MS-13, a violent gang thatbegan in Los Angeles in the 1980s. It now operates primarily in Central America and has members in the United States.
Nancy Pelosi introduces her campaign committee for the take back of the House.pic.twitter.com/yKDhkVubck— Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee) June 23, 2018
On Thursday, House Minority Leader Pelosi had sharply criticized the Trump administration’szero tolerance border policy ina speech Thursday given to Democratic lawmakers gathered to discuss the policy. She specifically called out the cruelty of forcibly separating kids from parents.
“You come near our cubs, you got a problem. And we consider these [immigrant] children our children,” Pelosi said during a “shadow” hearing outside the formal committee proceedings. She went on to mention thepsychological and emotional traumayoung children experience when torn from their caregivers.
Given this context, Huckabee’s tweet could be read to suggest that Pelosi’s call to protect migrant children is somehow analogous to helping MS-13. President Donald Trump haspreviously mischaracterized Pelosi as being “in favor” of the gang after she rebuked Trump forreferring to undocumented immigrants as “animals.”
Additionally, the actual Democratic Congressional Campaign Committeehas a Hispanic chairman, Ben Ray Luján, and numerous Hispanic members. Luján responded to Huckabee with his own tweet on Saturday afternoon.
So you can get your names and faces right@GovMikeHuckabee,@DanRSenais another one of my@DCCC#Hispanic#ChangeMakerswho is very much looking forward to taking back the House.#NovemberToRememberhttps://t.co/CvHgxycnUq— Ben Ray Lujan (@peopleforben) June 23, 2018
On Wednesday, Trumpsigned an executive order that he said would end the policy of separating migrant children from their parents at the border. However, the same order also aims to increase the administration’s ability todetain children along with their parents indefinitely.
So far, the government has no clear plans to reunite the more 2,300 children ―including babies and toddlers― who have been separated from their families.
While MS-13 is known totarget unaccompanied immigrant minors― many of whom were coming to the U.S. in the first place to escape gang violence in their home countries ― for recruitment, those who join MS-13 in the U.S. are asmall percentage of immigrants overall.
This story has been updated with additional context and a tweet from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s chairman.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost.