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Senators Wyden and Merkley urge an investigation into Trump Administration’s refugee child separation debacle

Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, urging investigation on the separation of immigrant children from their parents


Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today urged an investigation into the federal Department of Justice’s role in the creation and implementation of the Trump Administration’s “zero-tolerance” immigration policy.

The Oregon senators joined U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) and 28 other senators in writing DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz to request his office conduct its own review given the role DOJ played in the policy’s creation and implementation.

“In justifying this policy, Attorney General Sessions has said: ‘I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13, to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained them for the purpose of order. Orderly and lawful processes are good in themselves and protect the weak and lawful.’ However, the Administration’s implementation of this policy, the resulting separation of thousands of families, and the failure to promptly reunite these families have been anything but orderly and lawful,” the senators wrote. “The Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General and the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General are conducting reviews of the zero-tolerance policy, and the Department of Justice should also face scrutiny for its integral role in initiating and executing the zero-tolerance policy. Therefore we urge you to immediately launch an investigation of the Department’s role in this humanitarian crisis.”

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Today also marks the court-ordered deadline for the Trump Administration to reunite families torn apart by the president’s “zero tolerance” policy. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Medical Association have condemned Trump’s child separation policy. The President of the American Academy of Pediatrics called it, “government-sanctioned child abuse.”

Senators joining Wyden, Merkley and Durbin on today’s letter include U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Patty Murray (D-WA), Jack Reed (D-RI), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Tom Carper (D-DE), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Tom Udall (D-NM), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Chris Coons (D-DE), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Angus King (I-ME), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Ed Markey (D-MA), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), and Tina Smith (D-MN).

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