Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, on Monday said he would introduce legislation to keep immigrant families together at the U.S.-Mexico border, The Texas Tribune reports.
“While these cases are pending, families should stay together. Children belong with their mothers and fathers,” he said. “Once their cases have been adjudicated — under my legislation, in no longer than 14 days — those who meet the legal standard should be granted asylum and those who don’t should be immediately returned to their home country.”
“The Protect Kids and Parents Act” would require that immigrant families detained along the border remain together "absent aggravated criminal conduct or threat of harm to the children,” authorize new temporary shelters with accommodations to keep families together, increase the number of federal immigration judges from 375 to 750 and push for faster processing and review of asylum cases.
Global outrage over the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance policy continues to escalate, but President Donald Trump refuses to take responsibility for the separations
The policy, announced by Attorney General Jeff Sessions in April, allows the prosecution of adults separately from children when families seek asylum at the border. The children are placed in custody at a branch of the Health and Human Services Department while the adults are processed.
Cruz, who previously defended the policy, told reporters Monday that he was appalled at the images of children being pulled from parents.
“All Americans are rightly horrified by the images we are seeing on the news, children in tears pulled away from their mothers and fathers. This must stop. Now. We can end this crisis by passing the legislation I am introducing this week," Cruz said according to the Hill.
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