Rep. Tom Emmer sides with Trump on children separated from parents at border

"Our civil society is based on a rule of law."

Adam Carter
June 19, 2018 - 2:02 pm

(Photo by Brian Peterson/Minneapolis Star Tribune/TNS/Sipa USA)

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While he says he doesn't like to see kids separated from families at the US border with Mexico, Minnesota Congressman Tom Emmer says he agrees with President Trump that it's on Congress to change the law and stop it.

Emmer joined WCCO's Chad Hartman today.  He says the Trump administration is simply enforcing the law.

"Our civil society is based on a rule of law. We have a legislative process, if it doesn't work, which our immigration system is sadly broken, it needs to be fixed.  And it's got to be done for the longterm and that has to happen through the legislative process."

Emmer says there are two bills before the House that will change immigration law and stop the process of separating families.

In May, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a "zero tolerance" policy, promising that anyone who crossed the border illegally would be criminally prosecuted, as opposed to just facing immigration charges. That shift meant that any migrant children traveling with parents would be sent to separate facilities while their parents were taken to jail.

“If you don’t want your child separated, then don’t bring them across the border illegally. It’s not our fault that somebody does that,” Sessions said in a May 7 press conference in Arizona.

Previously, families could be detained together in immigration detention facilities. Often, families would be released and told to appear an immigration hearing at a later date (the practice known as “catch and release”),  as the clogged immigration system could not process their cases within the time frame that the government could legally keep them detained on immigration charges.

Listen to the full interview here: