WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump heard a lot of sharp criticism from lawmakers over his decision to separate children from immigrants as they crossed the border, but none seemed as pointed as a speech by Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Niles.



In brief remarks on the House floor Wednesday before Trump issued an executive order scrapping the controversial policy, Ryan assailed Trump, saying “the most powerful country in the world has resorted to this nonsense.”

“This is a joke,” Ryan said. “And it’s by choice. This is a choice that the most powerful men, in the most powerful country, are choosing to take poor kids away from their parents,” before calling on Trump to “act immediately and stop the American carnage.”

Ryan, who is emerging as a leader of House moderate Democrats, spoke in emotional terms about “how heartbreaking it is” when he and his wife travel and leave their 4-year-old with grandparents.

“Then I think about how in the most powerful country in the world, our governmental policy is to strip kids – babies, toddlers, infants – from their parents,” Ryan said.

jtorry@dispatch.com

@jacktorry1