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Utah Politicians Decry Trump's 'Horrible' Family Separation Policy

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KUER

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. 

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.  

Julia joined KUER in 2016 after a year reporting at the NPR member station in Reno, Nev. During her stint, she covered battleground politics, school overcrowding, and any story that would take her to the crystal blue shores of Lake Tahoe. Her work earned her two regional Edward R. Murrow awards. Originally from the mountains of Western North Carolina, Julia graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2008 with a degree in journalism. She’s worked as both a print and radio reporter in several states and several countries — from the 2008 Beijing Olympics to Dakar, Senegal. Her curiosity about the American West led her to take a spontaneous, one-way road trip to the Great Basin, where she intends to continue preaching the gospel of community journalism, public radio and podcasting. In her spare time, you’ll find her hanging with her beagle Bodhi, taking pictures of her food and watching Patrick Swayze movies.
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