COVINGTON, Ga. — At least two of the men who represent Newton County in Congress say they want to see change in a “zero-tolerance” immigration policy that’s resulted in the separation of families at the border.
The Trump administration has come under fire for separating children from their parents who are trying to immigrate into the U.S. illegally. Lawmakers from both major parties have begun to speak out against the policy.
President Donald Trump was said to be preparing to issue an executive order as soon as Wednesday afternoon that ends the policy of separating families at the border, according to The New York Times.
“We’re going to be signing an executive order in a little while,” Trump said, according to the newspaper. “We’ve got to be keeping families together.”
A spokeswoman for Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Marietta, said Georgia’s senior senator wants to end the separations.
“Senator Isakson does not think we should separate children from their parents at the border, and he believes Congress and the administration should work to keep families together whenever possible while enforcing our laws and protecting the border,” spokeswoman Marie Gordon told The Covington News on Wednesday.
Gordon said Isakson previously supported a bill by Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, that would have overturned the court decisions requiring separation of children from their parents who were detained pending an immigration hearing. She said the bill also would have provided funding for border security and created a path to citizenship for immigrants eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
“Senator Isakson has worked diligently on supporting solutions to improve border security during his time in Congress and agrees that Congress must act on securing our borders and reforming our immigration system,” Gordon said. “He believes a bipartisan approach would offer the best solution to these challenges.”
Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Lithonia, said he wants an immediate end to the separation of children from parents at the border.
“President (Donald) Trump has created a crisis with his barbaric ‘zero-tolerance’ policy,” Johnson said in a statement to The News.
“An act of Congress is not required to stop this — he has the power to end it right now. But instead, he is using the pain he is causing to children and families as leverage to enact divisive immigration changes that would actually inflict further harm on them and others.
“Trump should take immediate action to end the separation of families at the border by rescinding the ‘zero-tolerance’ policy.”
Sen. David Perdue, R-Warner Robins, criticized reporters who asked him about the immigration story Tuesday.
“I wonder if they (Democrats) really want to solve this or they want it for a political platform pandering opportunity for the elections this November,” Perdue said in remarks reported by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“This is tragic if that’s the case.”
A spokeswoman for Rep. Jody Hice, R-Greensboro, did not respond to a request for comment.