Saturday , September 22 2018

Family separation policy starts dividing Republicans

Immigrants wait to head to a nearby Catholic Charities relief center after being dropped off at a bus station shortly after release from detention through ‘catch and release’ immigration policy on June 17, in McAllen, Texas. The man said he was separated from his son while in detention. ‘Catch and release’ is a protocol under which people detained by US authorities as unlawful immigrants can be released while they wait for a hearing. (AFP)

Facing a rising tide of outrage from Democrats and some Republicans over the forced separation of migrant children and parents at the US-Mexico border, President Donald Trump dug in Monday, again falsely blaming Democrats in the escalating political crisis. Democrats have turned up the pressure over the policy and some Republicans have joined the chorus of criticism.

Former first lady Laura Bush has called the policy “cruel” and “immoral” while GOP Sen. Susan Collins expressed concern about it and a former adviser to Trump questioned using the policy to pressure Democrats on immigration legislation. White House officials have tried to distance themselves from the policy, although the administration put it in place and could easily end it after it has led to a spike in cases of split and distraught families.

Trump tweeted Monday: “Why don’t the Democrats give us the votes to fix the world’s worst immigration laws? Where is the outcry for the killings and crime being caused by gangs and thugs, including MS-13, coming into our country illegally?” In a guest column for the Washington Post Sunday, Mrs Bush made some of the strongest comments yet about the policy from the Republican side of the aisle. “I live in a border state. I appreciate the need to enforce and protect our international boundaries, but this zero-tolerance policy is cruel. It is immoral. And it breaks my heart,” she wrote. She compared it to the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II, which she called “one of the most shameful episodes in US history.” (AP)

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