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New York Congress members react to Trump’s border policy

Members of the New York congressional delegation reacted Monday to the Trump administration’s policy of separating children from their parents as the families seek to enter the United States without proper documentation:

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.): “The policy should be we want adjudication. No one should get into this country who doesn’t meet the legal needs but you don’t have to separate parents from children while adjudication is occurring.

Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford): “Our borders must be secured and we cannot allow the asylum process to be abused or worked around. However, the Administration must find a better way than separating children from their parents.”

Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-Glen Cove): “Using children as a bargaining chip in our national immigration debate is just wrong. We need to protect our borders and figure out what to do with the 11 million now here, some as long as 30 years. We need a comprehensive immigration plan. We’re tearing our country apart and this is just the latest example of inhumane overreaching.”

Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley): “Actually, this is an issue that has transcended Administrations, which President Trump inherited. For example, there were 72,000 family separations under the Obama administration just in 2013.” EMBEDHowever, spokeswoman Katie Vincentz said Zeldin would support legislation “ stating that the detention of any alien child who is not an unaccompanied alien child apprehended at the border must not be separated from their parent or legal guardian while in DHS custody.” (note: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement records showed the agency in 2013 deported 72,410 immigrants who said they had one or more U.S.-born children, according to a 2014 story in The Huffington Post)

Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-Garden City): “The Trump Administration’s policy of separating children from their parents is cruel, immoral and stands in complete contrast to American values. And while President Trump has the power to reverse the policy, he has instead decided to blame others and allow these family separations to persist. It’s beyond disgraceful that these kids are being traumatized and permanently harmed while serving as political bargaining chips.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.): “It is abhorrent. It is immoral. And the administration could stop this all by themselves today if they wanted to. But since they won’t, Congress needs to act.”

Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-St. Albans): “The Trump Administration’s policy to separate families at the border is cruel, unprecedented, and downright immoral. It is solely the result of this administration needlessly prosecuting border crossing as criminal matters, and it is time for Republicans to join Democrats in standing up to President Trump.”

Compiled by Rick Brand and Ted Phillips

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