June 17, 2018

Matt Gaetz: Trump ‘moved emotionally’ by distress of families at US-Mexico border


U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz said Wednesday that President Donald Trump was moved by images of children being separated from their families at the U.S.-Mexico border.

“I was with the president yesterday, and it was clear that he was moved emotionally by the distress of families at the border,” said Gaetz, R-Fort Walton Beach, in a phone interview Wednesday.

Trump signed an executive order late Wednesday afternoon that he said ends family separations at the border, but he insisted his controversial “zero tolerance” policy will continue.

Gaetz said Congress continues to work on legislative solutions.

“Right now, immigration legislation remains very much a moving target,” he said.

Gaetz said he had not had time to thoroughly review compromise legislation filed recently.

“I cannot say right now how I will vote,” he said.

But something needs to be done to improve the situation at the border, he said.

“It is always heartbreaking to see children in distress anywhere in the world. Our (immigration) policies could use improving across the board,” he said.

Gaetz said he is concerned children could be used as tools by people trying to cross the border, which could lead to kidnappings or child exploitation.

USA Today reported the Trump executive order was drafted by Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and directs her department to keep families together after they are detained crossing the border illegally.

“We are going to keep the families together. I didn’t like the sight or the feeling of families being separated,” Trump said in signing the order.

Trump also suggested the move would be accompanied by efforts to pass immigration legislation.

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, tweeted Wednesday that he had filed his own immigration legislation.

“Just filed the Keep Families Together Act. While today’s reversal of decision to separate families is good,it will be challenged in court,” Rubio tweeted after Trump signed the executive order.

Originally posted here.