West Michigan reps weigh in on family separation issues

CIUDAD JUAREZ, MEXICO - JUNE 20: Angelica (C) (who didn't want her last name used) holds her grandchild as they enter the Paso Del Norte Port of Entry to ask for asylum in the United States on June 20, 2018 in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, D.C. – West Michigan Representative Bill Huizenga (R-Grandville) has released a statement calling for the “inhumane policy” of family separations to end along the U.S./Mexican border.

“The Administration must end the policy of separating children from their families immediately. If the Administration is unwilling to do so, then the House should immediately pass narrowly tailored legislation to end separations. While there are divisions on other areas of immigration, there is broad bipartisan support to put an end to this inhumane policy.”

Huizenga released the statement Wednesday morning.  Monday, Huizenga had released a statement on Facebook calling for legislative solution, and again on Tuesday calling the situation “heartbreaking” and saying that a meeting Tuesday night with President Trump “provides an opportunity to work toward modernizing our immigration system and providing resolution to the crisis.”

Huizenga’s upcoming election opponent, Rob Davidson, had released a challenge to Huizenga earlier Wednesday morning to either stand up to President Trump or support a proposal that was floated to specifically prohibit the separation of minors from their parents.

Wednesday afternoon, President Trump signed an executive order to end the policy of family separation. In a phone interview with Fox 17, Huizenga said, “First and foremost, the assumption is to keep these families together, because frankly I think nobody can look at the situation and say separating an infant child from it’s mother is somehow acceptable. That isn’t acceptable, nor should it be acceptable. That has to be changed and remedied.” He also said that while an executive order may be an effective short-term solution, congress will still need to act.  “Having an executive order do that does not have the permanency of having the law changed and that’s what we have to be working on.”

Other West Michigan GOP representatives have already made statements on the issue of immigrant families being separated when trying to cross the U.S. border illegally.  Rep. Justin Amash (R-Grand Rapids) released a statement May 26 and tweeted again Wednesday.

U.S. Representative Fred Upton (R-St. Joseph) issued his statement on Monday.

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