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Gutiérrez: ‘Its a Crime’ the US Locks Up Mothers and Children Crossing the Border

Monday on MSNBC’s “The Rundown With José Díaz-Balart,” Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-IL) said that “it is a crime” the illegal immigrant mothers and children who were part of the U.S.-Mexico border surge over the last few years are locked up in detention centers until their asylum claims can be processed.

Gutiérrez said, “I want the public to understand something, that when these mothers and children crossed the borders, they came and handed themselves over to the authority and applied for asylum in the United States. We believe that 80% of them will win the cases. So, look, shut down the detention centers.”

“So they’re leaving Guatemala, they’re leaving El Salvador, they’re leaving Honduras, Honduras the leading capital of the world where drug gangs rule the day.”

He continued, “They come here fleeing violence. They never committed a crime. It is not a crime to flee violence, persecution, and the end of your life and come to the United States seeking refuge. That’s not a crime. That why we have laws on the books and we should respect those laws. And the law clearly says since 1997, you cannot keep these children locked up.”

“You know what’s a crime? It’s a crime that somebody is fleeing violence and drug lords and rapists and murderers and those in human trafficking, and then we lock you up. We locked them up so long, for over a year,” he added.

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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