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Sen. Cruz: ‘Democrats and Republicans Must Work Together, Nobody Wants to See Children Separated From Their Moms and Dads’

Calls upon Senate colleagues to join in the legislative efforts to address the separation of illegal immigrant families at southern border

June 21, 2018

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202-228-7561

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), member of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, today urged his colleagues to take swift actions to address the separation of illegal immigrant families at the southern border. Sen. Cruz called upon both Republicans and Democrats to put aside partisan politics and find a common-sense solution while upholding the rule of law.

Watch Sen. Cruz’s full remarks here. Excerpts of his remarks are below:

“All of us agree that it is important and even critical to keep kids with parents,” Sen. Cruz said. “This is an area where there should be common ground. We should be able to work together. Nobody wants to see children separated from their moms and dads. All of us should also agree that we don’t want a system that incentivizes more and more children to be brought here illegally, to be subject to violence and assault from human traffickers. It’s not good for kids, for little boys and little girls to be in the custody of criminal cartels taken across the border and subjected to the horrors that they currently experience.”

Sen. Cruz then addressed inappropriate analogies used by his colleagues to describe the ongoing situation at the southern border as ‘inapt’ and harmful towards making progress in addressing the matters at hand.

“Several Members have urged that we refrain from overheated rhetoric, and I think that would be beneficial in solving this issue. I would note, that in the course of this debate a number of Senators draw analogies to Japanese internment camps, and in my view that analogy is both inapt and not helpful for solving this. […] Japanese internment camps are one of the ugliest chapters of our nation’s history, they were grossly wrong, and immoral. Now, it may be worth pausing to remember that it was a Democratic President, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who created those camps, and who detained thousands of American citizens against their will who violated no law. They had violated no criminal law, they had done nothing other than simply being Japanese American. Ant yet, President Roosevelt detained them and imprisoned them. That was grotesquely wrong. The analogy here, is markedly different. If you have people who have crossed the border here illegally and violated the law doing so, it is not an internment camp to detain someone who breaks the law. That is based on conduct, it’s based on criminal conduct. And using that kind of rhetoric, that if you have someone crossing illegally and you detain them, ‘well it’s just an internment camp,’ all that does is escalate the emotion and the anger on this issue. I would encourage all of our colleagues to try and take a step back and focus on kids to stay with their parents, but engaging in insults back and forth Democrats and Republicans is not going to be conducive to solving the problem.”

Earlier this week, Sen. Cruz, joined by 18 Republican co-sponsors, introduced the Protect Kids and Parents Act to keep illegal immigrant families together. This legislation will: 

  • Double the number of federal immigration judges, from roughly 375 to 750.
  • Authorize new temporary shelters, with accommodations to keep families together.
  • Mandate that illegal immigrant families must be kept together, absent aggravated criminal conduct or threat of harm to the children.
  • Provide for expedited processing and review of these asylum cases, so that—within 14 days—those who meet the legal standards will be allowed to stay, and those who do not will be immediately returned to their home countries.

Read the text of the bill here. A one page summary of the bill may be viewed here and below.

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