As Democrats support legislation to prevent the Trump administration policy of separating families at the border, some Republicans—including two who represent Tennessee—are also urging an end to the practice.
U.S. Sens. Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander both said Monday that the Trump administration’s new zero-tolerance enforcement policy, which has led to at least 2,000 children being taken from their parents since April, isn’t the right approach.
Corker said that the immigration system is complex, but “we can all agree that innocent children should be protected and not used for deterrence.”
“The administration should use all tools available to stop needless family separation without delay, and Congress should act swiftly to address the serious challenges facing our nation’s immigration system,” he also said in a prepared statement.
Alexander echoed Corker’s sentiment. He said that illegal immigration is against the law but that new enforcement policies have resulted in the separation of hundreds of children.
“The administration should end that new policy immediately while Congress works with the president on a bipartisan immigration solution that secures the border, provides a status for those already here and prevents a humanitarian crisis at the border,” Alexander also said.
Crossing the border illegally is a misdemeanor charge. After deportation, if someone crosses again, it becomes a felony,
Trump has both defended the policies and denied that they are from his administration. He’s said the administration wants to prevent crime at the border and at the hands of gang members who may come into the country illegally.
The Arizona Daily Star has a Q&A with more information about the issue, including why and how children are being separated from their parents.