North Coast Senator denounces immigration policy separating children from families

Erika Holt
June 20, 2018

"Mrs Trump hates to see children separated from their families and hopes both sides of the aisle can finally come together to achieve successful immigration reform", said Stephanie Grisham, a spokeswoman for Mrs Trump.

The separation policy follows Attorney General Jeff Sessions' announcement on April 6 of a "zero-tolerance" immigration policy that includes criminally prosecuting illegal border-crossers, thus separating them from children who under US law can not be held in criminal detention centers.

During a meeting with the National Space Council at the White House on Monday, President Trump once again placed blame on Democrats for the country's immigration problems.

But other members of the administration who have had a central role in immigration policy embraced the decision to separate families. "That's traumatizing to the children who are innocent victims, and it is contrary to our values in this country", she said.

Speaking at a White House event, Trump said the issue needs to be resolved through broader immigration legislation - a notion that even some Republicans disputed Monday - and claimed that "we can not even get [Democrats] to the negotiating table". Next week, Congress is set to vote on two immigration proposals - the conservative McCaul-Goodlatte bill, and a more moderate House GOP bill. "The message is that no one is exempt from immigration law", said White House adviser Stephen Miller in an interview published Saturday in The New York Times.

During an interview Monday with "Fox & Friends", White House spokesman Hogan Gidley argued that a comprehensive immigration bill could have passed past year if Democrats had been more willing to compromise with Trump.

"Nobody likes" breaking up families and "seeing babies ripped from their mothers' arms", said presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway, while rejecting the idea that Trump was using the children as leverage to force Democrats to negotiate on immigration and the president's long-promised border wall.

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Laura Bush was writing a guest column for The Washington Post Sunday and compared the policy to the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. "I think everything she said confirmed that this is a policy and it's a choice that they're making". The president supports the bill.

Oklahoma Sen. James Lankford said on Twitter he disagreed with separating families and linked out to a story about Oklahoma Rep. Jim Bridenstine being denied entry in 2014 to a facility where the government was holding unaccompanied children. "This is why we need more Republicans elected in November. We believe the "Zero Tolerance" directive issued by Attorney General Jeff Sessions is cruel, immoral and outrageous".

Yesterday, a reporter played a recording of numerous children crying out for their parents.

As per several media reports, around 2,000 children belonging to immigrant families have been taken into custody under Trump's administration.

Since Trump's inauguration, the administration has issued at least half a dozen orders and changes affecting immigrant children, many of them obscure revisions.

Immigrant and children's advocates said the new measures are not only cruel but costly.

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