U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, is calling to stop family separations at the U.S./Mexico border.
Upton’s comments come amid an uproar over the Trump administration’s policy of separating immigrant children from their parents at the border, resulting in children being kept in government-run facilities.
“It’s time for this ugly and inhumane practice to end. Now,” Upton said in a June 18 statement.
“It’s never acceptable to use kids as bargaining chips in political process. For some time, I’ve said that separating young, innocent children from their parents is the wrong approach. The right approach is legislation to address the root issues,” Upton said.
“This week, the House should vote on a bill that would keep families together, give long-term stability to Dreamers, and improve our border security.
“Enough finger pointing. Time for action and solutions.”
Upton previously signed onto a “discharge petition” that would have allowed for debate on immigration proposals to address these issues. As a result, the U.S. House of Representatives are planning to vote on two immigration reform bills this week, Upton said.
U.S. Rep. Bill Huizenga, R-Zeeland, said changes are needed in the previous administration’s policies, but that automatically separating families at the border runs counter to his values.
“The United States is a nation of laws, but it is also a nation of compassion. It’s clear the catch and release policy implemented by the previous Administration failed to stem the tide of people entering the country illegally,” Huizenga said in a prepared statement.
“While changes in policy are necessary, the notion of automatically separating families runs counter to my values as a father as well as the core values of our nation,” he said. “We must find a legislative solution that balances our compassion with the fact that some individuals are exploiting loopholes in our immigration system and actively trafficking children across the border. This week the House is scheduled to address the issue of border integrity, DACA, and family separation. There is an opportunity to have a workable bipartisan solution if we can stop the partisan bickering and actually put our nation first.”
President Donald Trump defended his administration’s policy Monday, the Associated Press reports.
“The United States will not be a migrant camp, and it will not be a refugee holding facility,” he said, according to AP. “Not on my watch.”