Democrats who decry separation of children from their illegal immigrant parents have rejected legislation to permanently fix the issue, instead passing the buck to President Donald Trump.
Although Republicans introduced legislation that would ensure family separation would be outlawed, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer dismissed the proposal, saying Congress should not get involved.
“There are so many obstacles to legislation and when the president can do it with his own pen, it makes no sense,” the New York Democrat said Tuesday, The Hill reported. “Legislation is not the way to go here when it’s so easy for the president to sign it.”
Schumer’s comment came after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said it was time to put the issue ahead of partisan bickering.
“We hope to reach out to the Democrats to see if we can get a result,” the Kentucky Republican said. “Which means making a law and not get into some sparring match back and forth that leads to no conclusion.”
Although Trump and his administration repeatedly called on Congress to overhaul a policy that long predated the Trump administration, Schumer was adamant. He said that “legislation will take a very long time and is unlikely to happen, and the flick of a president’s pen could solve this tomorrow.”
Trump did sign an executive order on Wednesday that will end the policy of separating children from their parents when they are detained for crossing the border illegally. The difference between an executive order and legislation is that the order could be countermanded by a future president, while legislation would be a more permanent solution.
“We need to fix the problem and it requires a legislative solution,” McConnell said.
However, when asked if he would work with the GOP to craft a permanent solution, Schumer replied, “Let’s hope we never get to that.”
It’s very sad that Nancy Pelosi and her sidekick, Cryin’ Chuck Schumer, want to protect illegal immigrants far more than the citizens of our country. The United States cannot stand for this. We wants safety and security at our borders!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 23, 2018
Schumer, however, did not speak for all Democrats.
Democratic Rhode Island congressman David Cicilline said that Trump’s order, which he said might not be constitutional, is not the fix the issue demands, according to CNN.
“We have legislation that has been introduced that will end the practice. We have legislation that has been drafted that will require the government to come forward with a specific plan,” he said. “We all need to continue to raise our voices.”
The GOP also wants to talk.
“Kids are better off with their moms and dads. I hope we see Democrats and Republicans willing to work together to ensure that … but also to ensure … that we’re respecting the rule of law,” Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said Friday after touring a detention center, the Texas Tribune reported.
Although Trump’s order ends family separation, it does not signal a policy change on immigration, according to The New York Times. As of Thursday, according to The Times, four military bases were being prepared to house families that have crossed the border illegally.
Texan Sen. John Cornyn, who toured the center with Cruz, said that although families should not be separated, he supports Trump’s policy.
“If you don’t have a zero tolerance program, then you have a tolerance program,” the Republican said. “Meaning you tolerate illegal immigration.”
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.