HOUSTON — The practice of separating immigrant families at the U.S. Mexico border has become America’s hot button issue.
It's estimated that 2,000 children have been removed from their families and are in detention facilities at the border, and President Trump's Zero Tolerance Policy on illegal boarding crossings has fueled a debate around the country.
“What the administration has decided to do is to separate children from their parents to try to send a message that, if you cross the border with children, your children are going to be ripped away from you. That's traumatizing to the children, who are innocent victims,” Maine Senator Susan Collins said.
Former First Lady Laura Bush had a lot to say regarding this issue. She wrote a column in the Washington Post addressing the Trump Administration’s immigration policy, focusing on how it separates families, comparing the detention centers to Japanese Internment Camps.
Bush calls the practice "Cruel" and "Immoral."
She also says, "In 2018 can we not as a nation find a kinder, more compassionate and more moral answer to this current crisis?” She's not alone. First Lady Melania Trump says, "We need to be a country that follows laws but also a country that governs with heart."
Democratic lawmakers are voicing their anger over the family separations and demanding Trump's administration changes his policy.
“You don't think a child who is in this facility who has a 6-by-10 living area — by the way a supermax prison cell is 8 by 12 — a 6-by-10 area and you get out two hours a day? That to I think a child 10 years old in a prison,” Wisconsin Rep. Mark Pocan said.
“The president of the United States at about 1 or so in the afternoon Central Time can pick up a telephone, can call and immediately end this immoral and disgraceful program of zero tolerance and the separating of our children. For some reason he has been able to coop the public thought that those of us in one part are at fault,” added Texas Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee.
President Trump weighed in on the controversy Monday afternoon, and pushed back, falsely claiming Democrats created the problem.
The United States will not be a migrant camp and it will not be a refugee holding facility, won't be. You look at what's happening in Europe. You look at what's happening in other places, we can't allow that to happen to the United States. Not on my watch,” Trump said.
Trump is standing by that position and his administration’s actions. Whether that position changes or not, in the midst of a nationwide uproar, remains to be seen.