Senate Democrats introduce bill to end family separations at border

From left to right, Democratic Sens. Patty Murray, Dick Durbin, Chuck Schumer, Mazie Hirono and Jeff Merkley hold a press conference to discuss a bill to end family separations at the border on Thursday. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UP

WASHINGTON, July 11 (UPI) — Senate Democrats introduced a bill Thursday calling for the end of family separations at the U.S. border with Mexico, as well as bolstering health and safety protections for children and families.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York and Sens. Patty Murray of Washington, Dick Durbin of Illinois, Jeff Merkley of Oregon and Mazie Hirono of Hawaii introduced the “Stop Cruelty to Migrant Children Act.”

Calling the treatment of children at the border “outrageous, inhumane and simply un-American,” Schumer said at a press conference that President Donald Trump “dismisses reports from his own administration about how terrible the conditions are.”

The bill would substantially increase medical care for migrant families at immigration detention facilities.

“Families that left their families and everything they know are being degraded, dehumanized and have their children snatched away,” Murray said. “I am livid at how President Trump and his administration are treating these children under our care.”

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Hirono held back tears as she made her plea to the Trump administration:

“If you’ve seen the pictures of those kids, those families, and you feel nothing, something is dead or dying in your hearts. How can we call ourselves a nation that calls to people like me to come to our country to seek a better life? How can we call ourselves a beacon of hope and freedom and then countenance these kinds of conditions in our facilities?”

Schumer said the bill aims to pre-empt Trump’s vow to implement deportation raids.

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