POST TIME: 19 June, 2018 00:00 00 AM
US lawmakers want to end ‘evil’ migrant family separations

US lawmakers want to end ‘evil’ migrant family separations

WASHINGTON: Democratic lawmakers vowed Sunday to end the “evil” separation of migrant children from their parents at the US border, as First Lady Melania Trump made a rare political plea to end the deeply controversial practice, reports AFP.

The “zero-tolerance” border security policy implemented by President Donald Trump’s administration has sparked outrage on both sides of the political aisle and took on particular resonance as America celebrated Father’s Day.

“They call it ‘zero tolerance,’ but a better name for it is zero humanity, and there’s zero logic to this policy,” said Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon, after leading a group of Democratic lawmakers to the Mexican border. “It’s completely unacceptable under any moral code or under any religious tradition to injure children, inflict trauma on them in order to send some political message to adults somewhere overseas.”

After touring a converted Walmart supermarket that is now housing about 1,500 immigrant children, Merkley said “hurting kids to get legislative leverage is unacceptable. It is evil.”

The government has said that during one recent six-week period nearly 2,000 minors were separated from their parents or adult guardians—a figure that only stoked the firestorm.

Trump has said he wants the separations to end, but continues to blame opposition Democrats for the crisis, which critics say is one of his own making. Amid deep divisions, congressional Republicans have struggled to craft a viable immigration plan.

The Republican-led House of Representatives may vote in the coming days on two immigration measures—a hardline bill and a compromise measure that would limit legal immigration while also ending family separations.

‘Massive child abuse’ -

Representative Sheila Jackson Lee accused Trump of lying by claiming he was simply following to the letter a previously existing law. “The president is not telling the truth. There is no law, there is no policy that has allowed him to snatch children away from their families,” she said.

“I can assure you we’ll be fighting to the end to stop this ugly, vile program that is harming children and creating massive child abuse.”

Earlier, Representative David Cicilline said the policy was “undermining the founding values of this country.”

“We saw the fear in the eyes of these children who are wondering when they will see their parent ever again.