Washington, D.C. - Today, U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) released the following statement regarding President Trump's decision to end the practice of separating children from their parents when they attempt to enter the United States illegally:
"Separating children from parents who enter the country illegally is heartbreaking and President Trump is right to stop the practice," said Senator Toomey. "But this problem can only be permanently fixed by a change in law. Congress must stop talking past one another and find a solution that enforces the law and keeps families together while their immigration cases are being resolved. Legislation like the bill offered by Senator Cruz is a good starting point. It ensures that migrant families can stay together and seeks to streamline the processing of asylum claims."
Senator Toomey is co-sponsoring Senator Ted Cruz's (R-Texas) Protect Kids and Parents Act (S. 3091). This bill mandates that immigrant families be kept together while their immigration status is determined (with limited exceptions to protect children, such as evidence that a child is the victim of parental abuse, neglect, or human trafficking). Additionally, this legislation authorizes new family shelters so that children can remain with their parents while their claims are being processed, provides an expedited process to require that immigrants with children have their asylum claims processed within 14 days, and doubles the number of federal immigration judges from roughly 375 to 750, who will prioritize processing claims of individuals who are here with children.