Politics & Policy

Democratic Senator Takes Shot at DeVos: ‘I Think We Should Send Her Back’

Senator Debbie Stabenow in Detroit, Mich., October 15, 2018. (Rebecca Cook/Reuters)

Senator Debbie Stabenow attacked Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos in a speech Monday, saying “I think we should send her back.”

“Too many of our children languish in inadequate, ill-equipped schools. Thank you, Betsy DeVos,” Stabenow said during her address to the NAACP convention in Detroit. “I really wish she was not from Michigan. I think we should send her back.”

Stabenow was referencing the chant of “send her back” that Trump supporters launched into during the president’s campaign stop in North Carolina last week, aimed at Democratic representative Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, who was born in Somalia.

The chant, which Trump later said he was “not happy” with, followed on the heels of Trump’s controversial criticism of Omar and three of her fellow congresswomen of color who were born in the U.S., Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts. The president had suggested that the four freshmen should “go back” to the countries their families immigrated from if they are not happy with America.

The House condemned Trump’s remarks as racist last week, with four Republicans joining the entire Democratic caucus to vote for a resolution asserting that the president had “legitimized and increased fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color.”

“Trump has given permission to people who used to stand in sheets in the middle of night to stand in the light in front of the microphones. This is wrong,” Stabenow said Monday.

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