Utah's members of Congress are speaking out against the Trump administration's new "zero-tolerance" policy that has led to the separation of nearly 2,000 children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Republican Congresswoman Mia Love issued a statement Monday saying the administration's "horrible" policy had "unnecessarily separated children from their parents."
"As a mother of three children and daughter of immigrant parents, this is something that’s both very tangible and heartbreaking to me," she said in the statement. "This is not a partisan issue – it’s an issue of right or wrong.”
Love says the administration should change its policy immediately and Congress should act to address immigration reform.
Sen. Orrin Hatch said that while the last two administrations have had difficulty stemming the flow of families crossing the border illegally, the policy of separating those families is "wrong."
"I am working with colleagues in both houses on a path forward that recognizes the need for compassion for children and families without incentivizing illegal border crossings," he said in a statment. "That solution can and should be bipartisan."
Rep. Chris Stewart of Utah's 2nd Congressional District and Rep. John Curtis of the 3rd District tweeted their opposition.
The policy of catch-and-release was not the answer. This administration’s policy of zero-tolerance certainly is not the answer. In the coming days, I will be working toward a bipartisan solution that keeps families together.
— Rep. Chris Stewart (@RepChrisStewart) June 18, 2018
I want all Utahns to know that I, along with my entire staff, am doing everything possible, both in Washington and here at home in Utah, to ensure that our government has the tools needed to keep families together.
— Rep. John Curtis (@RepJohnCurtis) June 18, 2018
Congress is set to vote on two immigration bills this week. The first is being pushed by more hardline conservative members and would make deep cuts to legal immigration and the visa lottery.
The second bill is being backed by House Speaker Paul Ryan and could capture more support from moderate Republicans. It too makes changes to immigration quotas but also provides a path to citizenship for young undocumented immigrants who were protected under the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
President Trump has insisted that any bill he sign include funding for a border wall, a campaign promise he has repeatedly returned to, including a pledge that Mexico would pay for it.