WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is heading to Capitol Hill to meet with House Republicans in hopes of coming to a conclusion on two very different immigration bills this week. However, broader border issues have taken a back seat to the hot topic, the separation of children from their parents at the border.
"What I'm asking Congress to do, is to give us a third option, which we've been requesting since last year the legally authority to detain and promptly remove families— together as a unit," Trump said.
The separation of families is a direct result of the Trump administration's new "Zero Tolerance" policy on people entering the country illegally.
"Without a border, you don't have a country,” Trump said.
In Texas both senators have announced their own plans to stop separating families. Ted Cruz says he will introduce new legislation on Capitol Hill with the goal to make sure that families stay together during immigration.
"This has to stop. I am this week introducing legislation, the Protect Kids and Parents Act, that will mandate that kids must stay with their parents. It will also expedite the proceedings," Cruz said.
John Cornyn is planning to update and reintroduce his 2014 legislation, the “Humane Act”, which keeps parents and children who've been apprehended at the border together while they wait for their court hearings.
Cruz's opponent in the November election, Beto O'Rourke, has been to the border and seen the problems first hand.
"It's not the Republicans, either. We gotta be really careful about that. It's not on a political party. I wouldn't even say this on the many years and many administrations this has got to be on us now," O’Rourke said.
Texas has made it clear that the state wants no part in separating families, but the real answers lie in Washington. If neither immigration bill passes this week, it's unclear what the Republicans will do. Republican leaders say the compromise bill could be the key to passing the first major immigration legislation of the Trump Administration.