© Nick Oza-USA TODAY Sports

Tim Walz says bipartisan deal on family separation possible

“We’ll be back out there tonight to try and get something done this week."

June 19, 2018 - 5:43 pm

U.S. Rep Tim Walz, who is also running for governor, joined fellow Democrats Tuesday in denouncing the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy, which has resulted in the separation of migrant children from their parents. 

“Whether they’re coming in at Ports of Entry or whether they’re trying to enter, we can still detain in a humane manner. We can still detain in a way that reflects our values. And I think that’s what most Americans are looking for,” Waltz said during an appearance on the John Hines show.

Waltz has since joined Senador Tina Smith and other Democrats in calling for the resignation of Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. During the interview, he said that the lack of “comprehensive immigration reform” had resulted in a “chaotic” situation at the southern border,  which he said had only made worse by the Trump administration's recent shift in policy.  

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

In the governor's race, the congressman is facing Erin Murphy and Lori Swanson in the DFL primary, while Tim Pawlenty and Jeff Johnson are running on the GOP side.

Waltz signaled that a bipartisan bill to address the separations might be possible — while also calling out his Republican rivals.

“We’ll be back out there tonight to try and get something done this week.  The first thing is that no American thinks this is good policy, at least very few do,” he said. “We’re still waiting to hear, of course, from Tim Pawlenty and Jeff Johnson.”

Listen to the full interview here: