The Republican leader in the US Congress said on Thursday that he hopes to pass an immigration law to end separations of migrant families at the border, while the Democratic opposition ensures that the Trump administration should immediately end this practice.
“We do not want children to be separated from their parents,” said Paul Ryan, who was interviewed in a press conference about the many stories of heartbreaking separations on the border with Mexico since early May.
Justice Secretary Jeff Sessions then called for the reinforcement of this practice, in line with President Donald Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy against illegal immigration.
This practice was already possible under Democratic President Barack Obama, but rarely applied. Since October, several hundred children have been separated from their parents at the border, according to the UN, with an acceleration since early May.
“We believe that we must resolve this situation through an immigration law,” Paul Ryan added without further details, while the Republicans are working to develop a broader text on the subject of immigration that could be presented next week.
But House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said she sees no prospect for a law. “This question can be settled in one minute if there is a sincere effort. This is an executive action by the Secretary of Justice. It can be changed just like that,” she added, snapping her fingers.
Admitting that a bill introduced by Democratic senators this week was unlikely to be supported by the Republican majority, several Democrats said they hoped that “shame” would push the Trump administration to act. “I can not imagine a more cruel act on the part of the government (…) This is psychological torture,” denounced Luis Gutierrez, elected in the House, on the forecourt of the Capitol. “It’s time to tell our administration: it’s enough, not on our behalf.”
On Tuesday, Franklin Graham, a very influential evangelical preacher to this important constituency for Donald Trump and the Republicans, had entered the debate with harsh words. “It’s a shame, it’s terrible to see families torn apart and I do not support it at all,” he said on the Christian Broadcasting Network, adding that he hopes “something will be done soon to fix this.” “.