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Stauber's Campaign Comments on Child Separation Policy

A comment from Pete Stauber's campaign about the child separation policy at the border. � |  Photo: Pete Stauber

Updated: June 20, 2018 08:03 AM

The press secretary for Republican candidate for Congress Pete Stauber says the Trump administration's policy on separating families at the US southern border is "absolutely heartbreaking."

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Caroline Tarwid said, "Pete is a father, family man and a man of good Christian values. This policy is absolutely heartbreaking and an unfortunate consequence of when parents disregard the law."

She went on to say, "Congress needs to leave labels behind and come together to solve this problem and make sure nothing like this has to happen."

RELATED STORIES: Candidates for 8th District Emerge as Filing Closes

Pete Stauber is one of two Republican candidates vying for Rep. Rick Nolan's seat. Former school board member Harry Welty is also running for the seat. Democrats failed to endorse any candidate. Eight candidates in total are vying to fill the seat left open by Nolan's retirement. 

Growing Criticism of Trump's "Zero-Tolerance" Policy

Criticism of the Trump administration's "zero-tolerance" immigration policy is rising from both sides of the political aisle. Several states are now refusing to send National Guard members to the United States' southwest border. 

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton on Tuesday said he will refuse to send any resources to the southern border until the Trump Administration ends the family separation policy. 

“Minnesota has not been asked to send any National Guard personnel, equipment, or other resources to assist with immigration enforcement on our country's southern border. I will refuse to provide any such aid until the Trump Administration stops its immoral and un-American ripping apart of immigrant families," Dayton said. 

Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson also Tuesday joined with 20 other Democratic attorneys general nationwide in demanding that the Trump administration end separating families. 

The state prosecutors say in a letter to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen that the policy is inhumane and draconian. And they say raises serious concerns regarding the violation of children's rights, and the constitutional principles of due process and equal protection.

The letter, led by New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas, says the practice is contrary to American values and must be stopped.

In a separate statement, Swanson says, "Splitting children from parents is inhumane, and we can do better as a nation."

The President's Response: "Open Borders" or Separate Families

President Donald Trump is asserting he has only two options on immigration: Separating migrant children from their parents at the border or "open borders."

Trump made the remarks Tuesday while discussing immigration in front of the National Federation of Independent Business's 75th-anniversary celebration.

He says he's requesting a "third option" from Congress that will allow officials to detain children and parents together as a family unit.

Trump says, "we've got to stop separation of the families," but says: "we can't let people pour in."

He's arguing that, "politically correct or not, we have a country that needs security, that needs safety."

Homeland Security: Several Cases of Immigrants Posing as Families

Homeland Security officials say there have been 148 cases where someone fraudulently posed as a family member of children at the U.S. border from October to April.

According to figures released Tuesday, the cases involved 301 people. Officials did not say how many were children.

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen has said there was a 314 percent increase in adults showing up with kids who are not family members. She says they are traffickers and smugglers.

More than 2,300 minors have been separated from their families crossing the border to the U.S. under the new zero-tolerance policy where everyone caught crossing illegally is prosecuted.

Nielsen says those legitimately seeking asylum should go to official border crossings with their families and they will not be separated.

Senate Republicans Working on New Family Detaining Policy

Senate Republican leaders say they are supporting a plan to detain immigrant families in custody together to avoid separating children from parents at the border.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters Tuesday that all Senate Republicans are supporting the plan. He said he's reaching out to Democrats for bipartisan backing, since the proposal would need to reach the 60-vote threshold for approval in the Senate.

The second-ranking Republican, Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, said they're proposing a "humane, safe and secure family facility" where parents and minor children could be detained together. He said families would move to the head of the line for processing.

The consensus emerged after a "robust" and "spirited" private GOP lunch, leaders said. The Senate could vote in a matter of days, possibly this week.

McConnell did not provide details of the plan. House Republicans are working on a plan that would keep children in detention longer than now permitted - but with their parents.

The Associated Press Contributed to this Story

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