Two Republican senators are demanding details from the Trump administration concerning the separation of immigrant children using their company parents when seeking asylum in the states.
GOP Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Jeff Flake of Arizona sent a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and Health insurance and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar earlier this week seeking clarification on whether individuals separated when they seek asylum and just how often that comes about. The letter comes from a number of the strongest pushback the Trump administration has got from congressional Republicans for its policy.
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"Secretary Nielsen recently appeared ahead of the U.S. Senate and testified that immigrant parents and children who promote themselves at U.S. ports of entry to request asylum isn’t going to be separated. Despite Secretary Nielsen’s testimony, quite a few media outlets have reported instances where children and parents seeking asylum in a port of entry are separated," both senators wrote. "These accounts as well as others like them concern us."
Flake and Collins cited a Washington Post story of a Honduran woman seeking asylum being separated from her child in Texas as well as a case in California wherein a Congolese woman was separated from her daughter for months.
In the letter, the two main senators short on the legal theory on separating families seeking asylum. Even though family separations would are caused by Trump administration policy, President Mr . trump has blamed congressional Democrats if you are hesitant to focus on immigration reform.
"Democrats can deal with their forced family breakup with the Border by working with Republicans on new legislation, for something different!" Trump tweeted on Saturday.
Tyler Houlton, a spokesman for DHS, denied that family separation for asylum seekers is really a Trump administration policy and tweeted that "there are several false stories being reported and then we encourage a person with evidence or facts get in touch with us to make sure that we can easily investigate." DHS claims that, compared with folks who are apprehended entering the country illegally, those that prove on a port of entry asking for asylum are not separated assuming they aren’t at risk or in danger of human trafficking.
"There isn’t any policy to part those seeking asylum in a port of entry. [DHS] continues to have an obligation, however, so that the minor will not be in peril or being trafficked. There are loads of look another way," Houlton said.
The two senators also demanded a dysfunction of DHS procedures for asylum seekers, whether parents are kept apprised of their total children’s "welfare" during any separation and whether DHS employees are taught to make separation less traumatic.
“What the administration will quickly do is always to separate children using their company parents in order to send a phone message that whenever you cross the border with children, the kids is going to be ripped off from you,” Collins said Sunday on CBS’ “Face the continent.” “That’s traumatizing to your children that are innocent victims, and it is unlike our values within this country."
In an argument accompanying the discharge within the letter, Flake said that "in asylum cases, it is actually particularly crucial to help keep families together when neither the little one nor parents has violated any laws."
"Contrary to what DHS has indicated as proper procedure, were currently seeing times when immigrant families seeking asylum are separated after lawfully presenting themselves at a U.S. port of entry. I do believe DHS must reply to valid questions concerning asylum processing, including any policies associated with the separation of families," Flake said.
House Speaker Paul Ryan also expressed anxiety about the policies a couple weeks ago and stated that "unfortunately we cannot want kids to get separated from them parents."