Rep. Joe Crowley: Illegal Families 'Need to be Compensated'


One Democratic lawmaker is under fire from some Republicans for his recent suggestion that the families still separated due to the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance” immigration policy deserve to be “compensated” for their pain and suffering.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the new policy earlier this year, emphasizing the enforcement of immigration laws in all cases.

Implementation resulted in the controversial practice of separating parents and children during the legal process.

Though nearly 1,200 families had already been reunited as of the latest update from the administration, hundreds more children remained in the custody of U.S. officials ahead of another court-imposed deadline.

The issue has impassioned many on the left who see Trump-era immigration enforcement as an injustice.

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For U.S. Rep. Joe Crowley, D-N.Y., the priority must be reuniting families.

In addition to that goal, he recently said he thinks the families impacted should be considered for some unspecified further compensation.

“To have these children ripped apart and separated is one of the most reprehensible things I’ve witnessed in my 20 years in service here in the House or Representatives,” he said during a recent news conference. “These children need to be reunited with their parents immediately.”

Should the U.S. government compensate separated families?

He echoed many others in his party by denouncing not only the Trump administration’s implementation of a policy that led to the family separations but for the perceived lack of forethought into the ramifications of that policy.

“Once again, the administration’s actions in the first place, but its inability to restore these families, is reprehensible,” Crowley said.

Arguing for a substantive response from the U.S. government, the congressman said the families impacted by this policy will never be the same.

“The damage that has been done to these children will be lifelong, to these family units will be lifelong as well,” he said. “In fact, I suggest they need to be compensated for what this administration did to them.”

Beyond the ultimate goal of bringing parents and children back together, he did not offer any specific recommendations.

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“First of all, compensation needs to be the full reunification of these families,” Crowley said.

The high-ranking lawmaker was recently defeated in a primary race ahead of his planned re-election bid by democratic socialist and political novice Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

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Chris Agee is an American journalist with more than 15 years of experience in a wide range of newsrooms.
Chris Agee is an American journalist with more than 15 years of experience in a variety of newsroom settings. After covering crime and other beats for newspapers and radio stations across the U.S., he served as managing editor at Western Journalism until 2017. He has also been a regular guest and guest host on several syndicated radio programs. He lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with his wife and son.
Texas Press Association, Best News Writing - 2012
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