Sen. Chris Coons released, on June 21, a statement on President Donald Trump’s executive order that nominally ends the separation of families, but continues the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy.
“The American people deserve clarity about what has happened along our southern border in recent weeks. President Trump created a humanitarian crisis by adopting a ‘zero-tolerance’ policy for people fleeing violence in their home countries. That ‘zero-tolerance’ policy included cruelly separating young children and even babies from their parents at the border,” said Coons.
“The president and his administration have misled the American people and excused this cruel policy in a variety of conflicting ways, including claiming that they didn’t have this policy, that they were following a non-existent law, or that their policy was being used as a deterrent for people who are fleeing to the U.S. I have joined many colleagues in calling for hearings before the Judiciary Committee to expose the cruelty of this ‘zero tolerance’ policy and explore more effective and humanitarian alternatives,” said Coons.
“Over the last week, the American people spoke clearly and said that the president’s policy was an unacceptable, un-American tragedy that should not continue. The president finally succumbed to pressure yesterday by issuing an executive order, but that order simply creates new problems,” said Coons.
“Under this order, President Trump’s new policy is to indefinitely detain entire families in facilities that may include ill-equipped tent cities, and his order doesn’t clarify what will become of the more than 2,000 children already separated from their families,” said Coons.
“We live in the most powerful, prosperous nation in world history, and our president is treating children and their indefinite detention or separation from their parents as a bargaining chip in a long running disagreement over how to fix our nation’s broken immigration system. This administration is blemishing the U.S.’ human rights record in lasting ways. We cannot tolerate this,” said Coons.