The fervor growing around the Trump Administration's controversial "zero tolerance" border policy swept across the late-night shows on Monday night.
It was a tumultuous weekend for Donald Trump and his attorney general, Jeff Sessions, as the growing public anger over the policy of stripping children from their parents at the border and holding them in detention facilities boiled over into full-on outrage.
Attorney General Sessions cited the Bible in defending the administration's separation policy, saying, "I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13 to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained them for the purpose of order."
When asked about Sessions referencing Biblical text to justify government policy, when there should be a clear separation between the two, White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders doubled down on his comments, saying, "It is very Biblical to enforce the law."
And that's the workaround the Trump Administration is using to justify separating children from their parents. Many of these refugees are entering the United States illegally, and so the Department of Justice can simply say they are arresting the parents, and therefore by necessity must separate the children from them as you do in any case where a parent is arrested.
Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers and Trevor Noah watched this unfold over the weekend, and they weren't buying this spin at all. The Trump Administration has taken nearly 2,000 kids from their parents at the borders, and that's enough for them to see this "zero-tolerance" policy as patently wrong.
Seth Meyers really wasn't thrilled with Sessions using the Bible to justify the administration's policy, and particularly the little smirk that emerged on Sessions' face as he did so. "Look at Sessions' face," he said, looking at a still-frame from the video. "Have you seen a creepier smile? He cites the Bible like the guy challenging someone else's word in Scrabble. 'Well, I'm sorry but Mr. Dictionary doesn't see your word. It's just not in here.'"
As for Sanders saying quite simply that it's "very Biblical to enforce the law," Meyers had a few additions to make, if that's where we're going as a nation.
"I should note it's also very Biblical to stone people to death, to sleep with 600 concubines, to have conversations with flaming bushes and to believe that a 500-year-old man built a giant boat and put giraffes on it," he said.
He then made it very clear that he sees what the president and his administration are doing, and not only that, he sees right through it. "To be absolutely clear this is not a law," he said. "It is a choice by the Trump Administration and they can end it right now. And yet, Trump is trying to gaslight the country into thinking it's actually the Democrats' fault that this policy exists."
As always, Stephen Colbert was very passionate in his condemnation of the latest Trump Administration policies, but he was quick to point out that he wasn't alone in condemning these inhumane border activities.
"Faced with almost universal condemnation from both sides of the political aisle, from religious leaders, from the UN Human Rights Council, Donald Trump finally took full responsibility for the policy and promised a swift end to this humanitarian disaster," he said solemnly. "I'm just kidding. No, he blamed the Democrats."
The Democrats are forcing the breakup of families at the Border with their horrible and cruel legislative agenda. Any Immigration Bill MUST HAVE full funding for the Wall, end Catch & Release, Visa Lottery and Chain, and go to Merit Based Immigration. Go for it! WIN!
The tone at the end confused the "Late Show" host, who thought it sounded like Trump was trying to start a rally. "Ready? Okay! 2-4-6-8, who do we incarcerate? Kids! Go-o-o-o-o-o-o-o into the cages!"
But the real problem was that Trump simply wasn't being honest in his tweet. "One, if it was a law the Republicans are in control of everything, they could fix it," he said. "Second of all, it's not a law. This is a policy. It's just another scoop from your chum bucket of cruelty."
Jimmy Fallon, who usually only skims the surface of political topics, waded much further in on this one. "The Trump Administration is facing criticism for separating immigrant children from their parents. Some people said they couldn't believe Trump would do something like this," he told his audience. "Then African-Americans, Muslims, DACA recipients, transgender troops and Special Olympians were like, 'We can.'"
The host added, "Experts say there's an easy fix to the problem: the midterms."
Melania Trump also came out against her husband, which certainly got everyone's attention as she usually doesn't talk about Trump's policies at all. "Her office released a statement that said, 'Mrs. Trump hates to see children separated from their families,'" said Fallon. "Then it said, 'However, Mrs. Trump is totally okay with wives being separated from their husbands.'"
As is usually the case on "The Daily Show," Trevor Noah looked at the media response to the border detention centers, and he couldn't believe what he was hearing from Steve Doocy. The "Fox & Friends" host didn't like the media using the term "cages" to describe the holding facilities
"Some have likened these to concentration camps," Doocy said on Sunday. "Some refer to these as cages, and I can understand that point of view. I'm from a farm community, to me, I see the chain-link fences, it's more like a security pen to me."
"Wow, I never ever thought I'd hear a positive spin on detaining children," Noah marveled. "He's like, 'Look,' I'm a cage half-full kind of guy. After all, what is a chain-link fence if not a wall made of silver linings.' ... Look man, we're not idiots, a cage is a cage."
He then noted that the Administration is saying these "cages" are only temporary measures, and that the immigrant chilren are then moved to much nicer facilities where they have beds, television, video games and even school. But he didn't see this as particularly reassuring.
"If some guy in an unmarked van took your kids from the park, the last thing you'd be worried about as a parent is how nice the van was or whether they have the good candy," he pointed out.
The bottom line is that kids are being separated from their parents at the border as a matter of policy and the late-night hosts are joining a growing list of people who think that's just not acceptable or justifiable.