Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley of Oregon said on CNN’s “New Day” Friday that the Trump administration’s border policy is designed to “traumatize” children.
Merkley said the government should be using a family management program to analyze each migrant on a case-by-case basis instead of sending them to prison.
“The other option is a family case management program. It’s a program that was shut down by President Trump. It’s a program that the Inspector General of Homeland Security said in his report that 100 percent of the families showed up for their asylum hearings,” Merkley declared.
“When you have a program that works perfectly well, that treats people with respect, and you shut it down and choose to lock up families instead — and lock up thousands of children by themselves in camps — then you’re doing something that’s totally unnecessary,” he continued. “It’s designed to traumatize these kids in order to send a message to the world: ‘Do not, if you are fleeing persecution, come to the United States.'”
Merkley also said a border wall would make life harder on America’s immigration authorities and claimed it would not provide enough security to justify government funding. (RELATED: Border Patrol Agent: A Wall Would Make It Easier For Us To Do Our Jobs)
“I’ve been down to the border. I’ve seen the fencing. You can see through it. In fact, the border guard itself says a concrete wall is an absolute mistake,” he claimed.
“They say the border guard needs to be able to see what’s going on on the other side … That the wall doesn’t stop bad things from happening. It just makes it impossible for the folks on our side to see what’s developing and makes it more difficult for them. So we’re not going to fund a fourth century strategy easily defeated that makes life more difficult even for security … Why should we fund that? It makes no sense at all and we’re not going to do it.”
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