Republicans from Miami-Dade on Monday condenmed the Trump administration's decision to separate families crossing the southern border, with adults being sent to detention centers while their children are housed in cages and cry for their parents.
"It is totally unacceptable, for any reason, to purposely separate minor children from their parents," said Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Miami, who, along with Miami Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo is leading negotiations on a compromise all-Republican immigration bill in Congress. "Any and every other option should be implemented in order to not separate minors from their parents, which I believe is unconscionable. We cannot allow for this to continue happening, and it must stop. I continue to work with my colleagues to ensure that the provision included in this week's immigration bill puts an end to this cruel practice.”
Curbelo called the separation policy "a tragedy" on Twitter over the weekend, and referenced former President Barack Obama's policy of detaining families and unaccompanied minors.
"While some tolerated it when it happened under the previous administration, I found it unacceptable then & I find it unacceptable now," Curbelo tweeted. "We’re crafting legislation to remedy this sad situation."
The White House announced the policy in April as a way to deter immigrants from entering the country illegally, and administration officials have defended it in the face of widespread criticisms from across the political spectrum.
Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio advocated for changing laws to allow families to stay together while being held in detention instead of separating them. Current law does not require separating families who cross the border illegally, and the compromise immigration bill includes a provision that would end the practice.
"Currently govt must either release parents & continue incentive for illegal entry with children or separate families by detaining parents," Rubio tweeted. "Neither is good. Lets change the law to allow families to be held together at family facilities & shorten detention with expedited hearings."
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