US Senate Democrats on Tuesday demanded an end to forced separation of undocumented immigrant children from their parents, introducing legislation that would ban the controversial practice undertaken by the Trump administration.
Thirty-two Democrats in the Republican controlled Senate are sponsoring the Keep Families Together Act, which imposes a “prohibition on separation” of such immigrant families.
The bill is a long shot. No Republicans are sponsoring the legislation, and congressional leaders have given no indication they will hold votes on the bill.
But it puts President Donald Trump on notice that there is deep opposition to his “zero tolerance” policy, instituted last month, aimed at detering the thousands of families crossing the border monthly and asking for asylum.
The move has sparked domestic and international criticism, including from the United Nations which demanded a halt to what it called a serious violation of children’s rights.
“The Statue of Liberty under the Trump policy is not carrying a torch, it’s carrying a pair of handcuffs,” Senator Jeff Merkley told reporters.
According to Senator Dianne Feinstein, US Customs and Border Protection informed her that 658 children were taken from 638 parents during a 14-day period in May — an average of 47 children each day.
“This is not the United States that we know and we’re here to try to put a stop to it,” said Feinstein, the bill’s chief sponsor.
Trump has blamed Democrats for passing “bad legislation” and then failing to change the border security laws.
Democrats have countered that no law requires the government to separate children from their parents.
“Let’s call this what it is. This is a human rights abuse that is being committed by the United States,” Senator Kamala Harris said in a stinging rebuke.
The bill states that a US agency may not remove a child from a parent “solely for the policy goal of deterring individuals from migrating to the United States or for the policy goal of promoting compliance with civil immigration laws.”
Trump has made his opposition to immigration a focal point of his presidency.
His demand for building a border wall was a constant campaign theme, and he has referred to some immigrants, particularly gang members, as “animals.”
He scrapped an Obama-era program that gives legal protections to hundreds of thousands of immigrants who were illegally brought in as children, although courts have blocked their deportation.
In recent weeks Trump has hardened his message, with Attorney General Jeff Sessions insisting that illegal immigrants will be prosecuted.
“If people do not want to be separated from their children, then they should not bring them with them,” Sessions said early this month.
About Article Author
Latest Nigeria News
- CDHR task Buhari on poverty/insecurity
- Attacks on Plateau communities retaliatory, says Miyetti Allah
- Bureau official arraigned for murder
- Buhari blames desperate politicians for killings in Plateau
- APC Convention: “Kwankwaso just ended political career”
- D'Banj Was Advised About That Swimming Pool & His Son
- Banks struggle between steady income lines, declining profits
- Okorocha may sacrifice son-in-law governorship ambition
- Customs raises alarms over fake recruitment sites
- Drogba sends warning to Super Eagles ahead of Argentina clash
- Iheanacho confident of victory against Argentina
- Oil hits $74.10/barrel as OPEC moves toward spiking supply
- Nigeria to begin fuel exportation by 2019, says Baru
- 2018 World Cup: Pogba reveals Nigeria will be tough opponents
- Mikel to wear arm guard against Argentina
- Nigeria has highest number of extremely poor people – Report
- Bishop Oyedepo: You Can Be A Christian and Miss Heaven
- 5 Mistakes Graduates Are Making That's Denying Them Success
- TRAGIC! Obituary Of Lady & Her Brother Who Died In Accident
- Makeup Artist Transforms Lady Who Survived Burns Into A Queen For Her Wedding
- Boko Haram Fuel Supplier, Who's A Filling Station Manager, Nabbed By Soldiers
- Gunmen Disappear With Ondo Traditional Ruler's Wife
- Woman Who's A Witch Falls From Sky & Lands On Police Barrack In Delta State (Photos)
- PDP ridicules APC National Convention as ‘a mockery of democracy’
- Plateau killings: Buhari speaks tough, appeals for calm
- Saraki keeps APC leaders in suspense over his party membership
- See Woman Who Escaped After Over 100 Were Killed In Plateau
- How D'banj's Son Got Drowned In His Swimming Pool (Update)
- Imagine What Husband & Wife Did To This Boy Living With Them
- "Why I Didn't Attend APC Convention" – Kwankwaso
- Disgraced Ex-Minister Runs Abuja Clinic Without Licence For Years
- Nigeria Overtakes India As Poorest Country In The World
- "Why Herdsmen Killed People In Plateau" – Miyetti Allah Chairman
- Armed herdsmen kill 86 in Plateau
- Sowore blasts Buhari over 2018 Budget
- Buhari at war with NASS over disquieting budget crisis
- Police places N1m bounty on masked woman that “exposed” rich police officer
- Lagos Police Place N1m Reward On Masked Lady
- PhD Scandal: Embattled Osun Rector Arrested, Detained
- PDP To APC Chairman Oshiomhole: "Submit Yourself To EFCC"