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Congresswoman Joyce Beatty

Representing the 3rd District of Ohio

Portman, Stivers, Kasich criticize Trump on separating kids from parents

Jun 19, 2018
News Articles

Portman, Stivers, Kasich criticize Trump on separating kids from parents

Sens. Rob Portman and Sherrod Brown of Ohio and GOP Rep. Steve Stivers of Upper Arlington are sharply criticizing the Trump administration for separating children from parents trying to cross the border into the United States.

In a statement Tuesday, Republican Portman reiterated that the policy “is counter to our values. We can have strong border security without separating families at the border. They can be kept together and dealt with as a family unit.”

“The administration should change course immediately and use its executive authority to keep families together and expedite their cases,” Portman said. “If those changes aren’t made, Congress should act quickly on a legislative solution to fix this problem.

“I’m working with my colleagues to develop a compassionate solution that upholds our immigration laws and keeps families together while their cases are being processed,” Portman said.

Stivers, who chairs the House Republican re-election effort, called on the administration “to stop needlessly separating children from their parents. If the policy is not changed, I will support other means to stop unnecessary separation of children from their parents.”

Brown, a Democrat who is seeking re-election against Republican Rep. Jim Renacci, said, “All children should be treated with compassion. Tearing families apart is wrong and will not fix our broken immigration system.”

Renacci, a House member from Wadsworth, said “protecting both American jobs and our security by securing our borders and fixing our broken immigration system must be a top priority,” and urged swift passage of a bill to “enforce America’s immigration laws” and prevent “the separation of children from their parents on our border.”

Speaking from New York City on CNN, an emotional Ohio Gov. John Kasich said “it seems as though we have lost our sense of humanity. These are people. This is flesh and blood. These are children. You know what our Lord said about the children — they’re the most prized ... And I don’t know how so many people have become so hard-hearted.”

The spectacle of crying children being taken from their parents produced an avalanche of criticism and queasiness from most Democrats, a growing number of Republicans, and pro-Republican business organizations as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

The House is expected to consider two competing immigration bills this week which could include language preventing the border separations. But there are deep doubts either bill can pass the House or Senate in part because Republicans are so divided on the issue and Democrats believe neither bill solves the problem.

Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Niles, said what Trump “is doing to these families and children (is) abhorrent,” adding “we’re seeing faith-based communities, human rights groups, and even Republicans calling out the president for this immoral and destructive policy.”

“He can end this with a phone call but refuses to do so,” Ryan said.

House Republican candidate Troy Balderson, who is running against Democrat Danny O’Connor in the August special election in central Ohio’s 12th Congressional District, said “separating children from their parents at the border is unacceptable and contrary to our country’s values.”

But Balderson said he would support a bill that would finance a border wall, which is part of one of the House immigration bills backed by more moderate GOP lawmakers.

O’Connor tweeted “it shouldn’t take guts to speak out against this disgraceful policy. And Gov @JohnKasich is right. What’s happening at the border is SHAMEFUL and it must stop. This isn’t who we are.”

Democrat Joyce Beatty of Columbus called the Trump policy “immoral” and urged the House Republican leadership to “work on comprehensive solutions to fix our broken immigration system.”

Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Marietta, solidly backed Trump saying “by choosing to cross the border illegally — and often in dangerous circumstances — illegal immigrants are putting their children at risk.

“No one likes to see the images we have seen, but it’s important to remember that this is not a new policy or new phenomenon at our southern border,” Johnson said.

Rep. Brad Wenstrup, R-Cincinnati, said, “Our country has great compassion for those who come to our nation seeking a better life for their family and join the American way of life. Yet, we are also a nation of laws.”

“Our southern border has become a hub of drug and human traffickers, preying on Americans and immigrants alike, and the current patchwork of well-intentioned policies are clearly failing to compassionately enforce the law,” Wenstrup said.

Even though Portman has largely taken their side, a small knot of demonstrated gathered at Portman’s office in Columbus and refused to leave.


This article was orgianlly published by the Columbus Dispatch on June 19, 2018.