Two Los Angeles City Council members said Tuesday they want the city to support efforts aimed at stopping a federal immigration policy of separating children from parents caught trying to cross the border illegally.
Council members Mike Bonin and Nury Martinez outlined their opposition to the “sick, inhumane and heartless” policy in a resolution they introduced urging the city to file an amicus brief in support of a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union seeking an injunction against and reversal of the policy.
Bonin and Martinez also submitted a companion resolution urging the city to support Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s “Keep Families Together Act,” which would prohibit federal agencies from removing a child from his or her parent or legal guardian at or near a United States border or port of entry.
“This new policy is sick, inhumane and heartless,” Bonin and Martinez said in a joint statement. “It is unfathomable and un-American that our government would deliberately and intentionally cause deep and irreparable harm to children — especially children of families fleeing violence or persecution.”
The resolutions were seconded by council members Jose Huizar, Monica Rodriguez, Joe Buscaino, Bob Blumenfield and Gil Cedillo.
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has defended the policy of separating parents from their children if they are suspected of crossing the border illegally. Previously families detained at the border were allowed to stay together at family detention centers.
“If people don’t want to be separated from their children, they should not bring them with them,” Sessions said this week during a radio interview. “We’ve got to get this message out. And you can’t be giving immunity to people who bring children with them recklessly and improperly and illegally.”
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