Former US first lady Laura Bush called them "eerily reminiscent of ... internment camps."

Senator Jeff Merkley, (D), saw "big cages made out of fencing," and former CIA director Michael Hayden made a not-so-subtle comparison using a picture - of the Auschwitz concentration camp.

But Fox News host Laura Ingraham offered a different description of the facilities used to house migrant children separated from their undocumented parents:

Summer camps.

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"Since more illegal immigrants are rushing the border, more kids are being separated from their parents and temporarily housed in what are essentially summer camps, or as the San Diego Union-Tribune described them today as looking like basically boarding schools," she said on her show, the Ingraham Angle.

Amid growing outrage over the practice of separating children from parents detained at the border - and the conditions of their care - prominent conservatives have taken to the airwaves to defend the Trump Administration's actions.

Attorney- General Jeff Sessions, for example, called the concentration camp comparison "a real exaggeration, of course. In Nazi Germany, they were keeping the Jews from leaving the country." He later told Fox News, "We're doing the right thing. We're taking care of these children."

Conservative commentator Ann Coulter has said, without evidence, that the migrant children photographed at detention facilities or otherwise in distress were child actors.

"These child actors weeping and crying on all the other networks 24/7 right now; do not fall for it, Mr President," she said on Fox News. "I get very nervous about the President getting his news from TV."

And Ingraham said liberals "seized on the separated children and turned the entire image into a political weapon."


The images in question showed children locked inside cages formed by metal gates, sleeping in groups on child-sized mats under thermal blankets that look like giant sheets of aluminum foil. The photos were released by US Customs and Border Protection.

Later in the broadcast, Ingraham said a lot of people were upset at the summer camp description, and backtracked. She alluded to the San Diego Union-Tribune story again, and said, "I will stick to there are some of them like boarding schools."

A piece in the San Diego Union-Tribune does liken the facilities to boarding schools, but it also details their prisonlike attributes:

On closer inspection, details about the California-licensed child care facility run by Southwest Key Programmes reflect the situation of the children it serves.

It's surrounded by fencing that is backed by privacy netting, and a sign at the gate warns visitors that it's under video surveillance 24 hours per day. If someone opens the front door of the facility without first swiping a badge, an alarm blares through the hallway, warning of a potential escape.


But some Senate Republicans have rebuked President Donald Trump on family separations

After a GOP policy lunch, the leader of the Senate Republicans walked out to reporters and said something remarkable for this political moment: They don't agree with Trump's policy of separating families at the border, and the caucus supports a plan to end the practice.

"I support, and all of the members of the Republican conference support, a plan to keep families together while their immigration status is determined," said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Republicans in Congress know full well that Trump, not them, is responsible for the new policy at the border.

And since Trump has refused to end that policy, Republican senators seem to have decided that they'll take matters into their own hands.


The Senate's No. 2 leader, Senator John Cornyn, (R), is drafting legislation to keep together families who are apprehended crossing the border without documents. So is one of the most conservative members of Congress, Senator Ted Cruz, (R). McConnell announced that all 50 currently present Republican members of the Senate would support something like those plans.

"This requires a solution," McConnell said, "a narrow agreement to fix a problem that we all agree needs to be fixed."

There's already a bill in the Senate to end family separations, and Republicans have basically ignored it. Every single Senate Democrat - including those running for re-election in states Trump won in 2016 - has signed onto the proposal of Senator Dianne Feinstein, (D). No Republican has, though at least one House Republican, Congressman Mike Coffman, wants to sponsor it in the House of Representatives.

Senate Republicans are also reluctantly playing Trump's disingenuous game about which branch of government is to blame for what's happening. Trump's Administration started separating families, and Trump's administration can end it. A number of high-profile Senate Republicans have called out the President when he blames Congress or Democrats for allowing families to be torn apart.


"The White House can fix it if they want to. I don't think there's any question about that," said Senator Orrin Hatch, (R).

Meanwhile, Maryland's Republican Governor has joined the outrage, ordering a National Guard helicopter and its crew to return from New Mexico and vowing not to deploy state resources to the border until the separations stop.

"Immigration enforcement efforts should focus on criminals, not separating innocent children from their families," Governor Larry Hogan said on Twitter.

Hogan was the second Republican governor to take action against the Trump Administration policy. Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker scrapped plans to send a National Guard helicopter and military analysts to the border. His spokeswoman cited "the inhumane treatment of children" as the reason.


Many Democratic governors have made similar pledges. Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, (D), recalled four Virginia National Guard soldiers and a helicopter.

The pushback from the governors has affected just a handful of National Guard assets dispatched to address a surge in border crossings.

Texas, for example, has not backed away from its pledge to send some 1400 National Guard troops to help Customs and Border Patrol with "surveillance and support," according to the office of Governor Greg Abbott (R).

As he prepared to visit Capitol Hill, Trump continued to insist that Congress produce comprehensive immigration legislation.

Speaking to a business group in Washington, DC, Trump decried "the illegal immigration crisis on our Southern border," adding: "All we need is good legislation, and we can have it taken care of. We have to get the Democrats to go ahead and work with us."

Trump is scheduled to visit House Republicans at the Capitol to lobby them on broad immigration legislation that would include language aimed at ending the separations while also providing billions of dollars for his long-sought border wall and other security priorities.