While 2,000 families already separated at the border, top Republicans have started to join Democrats in bipartisan criticisms of the Trump Administration and its ‘Zero Tolerance’ Policy.
Senator John McCain of Arizona tweeted “The administration's current family separation policy is an affront to the decency of the American people, and contrary to principles and values upon which our nation was founded. The administration has the power to rescind this policy. It should do so now.”
Even the first lady, Melania Trump, has seemingly come out against the ‘Zero Tolerance’ Policy. A representative of the First Lady said, “Mrs.Trump hates to see children separated from their families and hopes both sides of the aisle can finally come together to achieve successful immigration reform”
Not all Republicans, however, feel this way.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Kirstjen Nielson and Attorney General Jeff Sessions have both come out supporting the Trump Administration decision.
In a speech given to police in Fort Wayne, Indiana by Secretary Nielson, she stated that the DHS was just, “enforcing the laws passed by Congress” and said the agency would “not apologize for our job.”
Sessions, on the other hand, used religious text to defend the morality of the ‘Zero Tolerance’ Policy. He quoted the Bible, Romans verse 13, “to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained the government for his purposes.” In citing this verse, Sessions has aligned himself with slave owners and British Loyalists in the American Revolution, who have used this same text to protect their beliefs.
Many Republicans were quick to distance themselves from Sessions’s comments.
Trump has tried to shift blame for the move onto Democrats stating, "The Democrats are forcing the breakup of families at the Border with their horrible and cruel legislative agenda," but this excuse has been rebuked for Trump has the executive power to end the ‘Zero Tolerance’ policy.
The Trump Administration would do well to expand their reading and take a look at Emma Lazarus,
“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me:
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”
The very same quote that can be found on the Statue of Liberty, and the core of what it means to be American.