Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has drafted a “Protect Kids and Parents Act” that would end the separation of migrant parents from their children and would offer emotional solace to the many Democrats, Hollywood figures and establishment GOP players who are urging that something be done.
“We can fix this,” Cruz said in a reassuring Monday statement, adding:
If my Democratic colleagues will join me, not play politics, but work to solve the problem, we can start to end family separation this week.
Cruz’s fix will ensure family unity by keeping migrant parents and their children in government centers until their legal cases are completed, and until they are either sent home or accepted into the United States:
While these cases are pending, families should stay together. Children belong with their mothers and fathers. Once their cases have been adjudicated — under my legislation, in no longer than 14 days — those who meet the legal standard should be granted asylum and those who don’t should be immediately returned to their home country.
Cruz’s measure is very different from California’s Sen. Diane Feinstein’s “Keep Families Together Act,” which would bar law-enforcement officials from detaining migrants who bring children northwards. The draft bill says:
An agent or officer of a designated agency shall be prohibited from removing a child from his or her parent or legal guardian, at or near the port of entry or within 100 miles of the border of the United States …
Federal officials would be unable to detain migrants because the current law bars them from detaining children.
So far, all 49 Democratic Senators have co-sponsored the Feinstein bill, which would allow millions of young men and women easy access to the U.S. job market, providing they also bring a child. Many of the manual jobs they seek would provide cheap services to upper-income Americans, such as D.C. professionals. Those services include bussing restaurant tables, dry-cleaning clothes, mowing lawns, and cleaning wine glasses.
Most of the migrants will work long hours at wages far lower than those needed by blue-collar Americans, partly because many of the migrants are in bondage debt to the violent cartels who let them pass through their border territory. Nationwide, roughly 8 million illegals immigrants -plus roughly 400,000 Central Americans who have filed for asylum — are already helping to hold down blue-collar wages.
The Feinstein legislation would likely shut down the centers created by the border agencies to shelter children while their parents go through the court system. Those shelters have been likely to Nazi concentration camps by many progressive, but appear markedly different:
Cruz’s fix may be welcomed by Laura Bush, Gov. Jeb Bush and other Republicans who demanded that something be done.
Few of the GOP leaders have described what they want to be done.
“In 2018, can we not as a nation find a kinder, more compassionate and more moral answer to this current crisis?” Laura Bush wrote in a Washington Post op-ed. “I, for one, believe we can.”
Children shouldn’t be used as a negotiating tool. @realDonaldTrump should end this heartless policy and Congress should get an immigration deal done that provides for asylum reform, border security and a path to citizenship for Dreamers. https://t.co/OOjv0vNeVg
— Jeb Bush (@JebBush) June 18, 2018
Lindsey Graham: "President Trump could stop this policy with a phone call."https://t.co/wF3PVn9hyO
— Erica Werner (@ericawerner) June 18, 2018
While I firmly support enforcing our immigration laws, I am against using parental separation as a deterrent to illegal immigration. My concern, first and foremost, is the protection of the children.
— Pat Roberts (@SenPatRoberts) June 18, 2018
NEW: Kansas @RepKevinYoder, the GOP chair of a U.S. House subcommittee tasked w/funding Homeland Security, calls on @jeffsessions to "take immediate action to end the practice of separating children from families at the border" in letter
— Lindsay Wise (@lindsaywise) June 18, 2018
So which of the Dems venting outrage is going to introduce targeted legislation to amend TVPRA & Flores, which are the reasons illegal-alien kids are separated from their illegal-alien parents for more than a few days?
— Mark Krikorian (@MarkSKrikorian) June 18, 2018
In contrast, Democrats are demanding that federal officials not be allowed to detain migrants who bring children with them. Their pending law would bar officials from applying federal immigration laws if they are hoping to deter migrants from breaking the law:
An agency may not remove a child from a parent or legal guardian solely for the policy goal of deterring individuals from migrating to the United States or for the policy goal of promoting compliance with civil immigration laws.
Everyone knows that taking children away from their parents is wrong. #FamiliesBelongTogether and should never be separated. Kids must be with their parents, not in detention centers. Call your senators and tell them to support S. 3036!
— Sen Dianne Feinstein (@SenFeinstein) June 14, 2018
The WORD cages isn’t the problem. The problem is that kids are being ripped from their parents and put in those cages to send a message to others fleeing persecution. Horrific! https://t.co/kTuw8WjcSL
— Senator Jeff Merkley (@SenJeffMerkley) June 18, 2018
Kids across the US are spending today with their dads. But thousands of children who have been separated from their parents by the Trump Admin don’t have that option. Make this a #FathersDayOfAction & join our fight to reunite these families. Ask your senators to support S.3036. pic.twitter.com/wL9tDkJJ2H
— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) June 17, 2018
Been listening to the audio from the detention camps of little kids pleading, begging, panicked…I can’t stop crying.
— Ron Perlman (@perlmutations) June 18, 2018
Democrats are likely to oppose the fix offered by Cruz, who said that “we can end this crisis by passing the legislation I am introducing this week.”