Bipartisan Resistance to Trump’s Cruel Snatch-the-Kids Policy Grows


Human rights abuser Donald Trump. Architect, with Sessions, of cruel policy. Photo: Gage Skidmore-wikimediacommons.

In Congress, both sides of the aisle are introducing measures to end the practice of separating families at the border though consensus on one bill is far from happening.

House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) on Tuesday led more than 190 House Democrats in introducing the Keep Families Together Act to end family separation at the U.S. border; limit criminal prosecutions for asylum seekers; increase child welfare training; and establish public policy preference for family reunification, among other provisions.

House Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Nita Lowey (D-NY), with members José Serrano (D-NY), Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), and Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA) on Tuesday sent a letter to Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) demanding a hearing on the use of federal funds for the Trump administration’s family separation policy.

“We urge you to immediately schedule a joint hearing to provide oversight on the use of federal funds for the Trump-Sessions policy of prosecuting asylum seekers and the resulting family separations,” the lawmakers wrote.

Meanwhile, Congressional Republicans on Tuesday made their own legislative announcements, though the Senate has their own plan, and the House another. Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) said he was working on legislation that would keep families together while increasing the number of federal immigration judges so court hearings could be expedited.

Senate Majority Leader Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) endorsed a quick passage of a narrow bill to provide legal authority to detain parents and children together while the courts consider their status, though he was not specific about which bill he was endorsing. He said he hoped to work with Democrats on a new bill, but that idea was quickly shot down by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who once again pushed for Donald Trump to use executive authority to end the practice.

Trump shot down the proposed family separation fix from Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) during a speech at the National Federation of Independent Business, calling the proposal “crazy.” In the House, Freedom Caucus Chairman Congressman Mark Meadows (R-NC) introduced a measure that his office said “more easily allows for family units to stay together,” while also limiting the number of asylum claims.

Trump on Tuesday met with House Republicans and told them to send him an immigration bill addressing DACA, the border wall, and migrant families separated at the border. Trump told the GOP Conference that he would accept either of the two immigration bills slated for a vote this week.

Leaders whipped votes for the compromise package on Tuesday night, but the latest whip count shows they do not have the votes. Meanwhile, Dems are trying to make sure their voices are heard. After the meeting, Trump walked out to face members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus who held up signs that read “Families Belong Together” and shouted at the president.

Senator Bob Menéndez (D-NJ) on Tuesday played audio on the Senate floor of children in detention centers screaming about their parents being taken from them. “They say a picture is worth a thousand words. But the audio released yesterday by ProPublica – it’s worth a million tears. How do you submit the cries of innocent children to the congressional record? I don’t know how you do that, but you can hear it,” Menéndez said.

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