Americans can recognize the matter of separating children from their families at the nation's border as a "deeply moral issue," and there is nothing keeping President Donald Trump from putting a halt to it, Rep. Jim Himes said Tuesday.
"The Department of Homeland Security reports to the president of the United States," the Connecticut Democrat told MSNBC's "Morning Joe."
"There is no such thing as a Democratic law, and the law under which this is being enforced has been the law for the last three presidents, and every other president decided that this was too morally repugnant a thing to do."
The White House, meanwhile, has been "very clear" that the policy allowing children to be separated from their parents entering the United States is "designed to be a deterrent," Himes continued.
"In other words children being yanked from their parents, that's going to cause parents not to bring their children into the country. That turns out not to be true."
In addition, the congressman said, the White House "doesn't even have their story straight."
"[Attorney General] Jeff Sessions is quoting scripture to justify this policy," he said. "The Secretary of Homeland Security [Kirstjen Nielsen] is saying we're not doing it, then saying darn right we're doing it. The president is lying about why they're doing it."
Himes added that he understands the strategy of firing up the GOP base, "but Americans can recognize a moral issue and I think Americans are good enough to say this is not a Republican or Democratic issue."
He also hit back at the claims that the current immigration policy is the fault of Democrats in Congress.
"First of all, the speciousness of the president's position lies in the fact that the Democrats control neither the Senate, nor the House, nor the Oval Office," said Himes.
"The president could order right now this practice to stop, so the notion the Democrats are somehow responsible is absurd on the face of it. So, what will we do instead? We'll do what we are doing which is highlight if we're going on. You'll see more and more of that."
He added that Democrats will also be sure to point out that the policy is being done in Trump's name.
"This is still a democracy," said Himes. "So what the government does is being in your name and I don't think Republicans or Democrats will say I'm standing up for that."
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