Gillibrand touts bill to stop border agents from separating families

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand announced a new bill on Friday that she and her and her fellow Senate Democrats introduced to try to stop the Department of Homeland Security from taking immigrant children away from their parents at the Mexican border.

“Like millions of Americans, I am sickened that the Homeland Security Department has been tearing young children away from their parents at the border,” Gillibrand said in a statement. “This cruel, inhumane policy is the kind of thing we read about in a history book and shake our heads at in disgust, and I have no doubt that it will traumatize a generation of children, who will never forget for the rest of their lives that when they arrived in the United States, the government took them from their parents.”

The bill – the Keep Families Together Act – was sponsored by Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California and co-sponsored by 30 other Democrats. Senators were told at a recent hearing that 658 children were taken from the parents over two weeks in May, the result of a new policy announced by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions on May 7 that all adults stopped at the border will be prosecuted for illegal entry, even if they are seeking asylum.

The Senate bill would allow children to be removed only if their parents are trafficking or abusing them.

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