Texas Senator Ted Cruz says he will introduce emergency legislation that would immediately end the separation of families at the border.
“All Americans are rightly horrified by the images we are seeing on the news, children in tears pulled away from their mothers and fathers. This must stop,” Cruz said in a statement.
The announcement comes after Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a directive to separate the children from their parents if they are caught illegally trying to enter the United States. Reports have said thousands of children have been taken from their parents because of the directive.
Cruz initially defended the policy, saying: “As a U.S. citizen, if you commit a crime and get arrested, you’re separated from your kids. And if you’re the only caregiver, your children have to find alternative caregivers — whether family members, friends or foster care. What all the media attention on separation of families is really saying, is don’t incarcerate those who come here illegally.”
This week, Cruz announced the “Protect Kids and Parents Act,” which would increase the number of federal immigration judges from about 375 to 750; authorize temporary shelters where families can stay together; expedite processing and review of asylum cases to within 14 days; and mandate that illegal immigrant families be kept together, except in criminal conduct cases or where there is threat to the children.
Asylum cases can be complex, according to Vox.com. Each case needs testimony and reports about conditions of their home countries.
Meanwhile, House Republicans are working on modifying the “Zero Tolerance” policy, says NPR.
According to the Department of Homeland Security, since early May, some 2,332 children have been separated from their parents after illegally crossing the southern U.S. border.
Photo Courtesy: Unsplash/Cole Patrick
Publication Date: June 20, 2018