Today, Rep. Pete Aguilar (D- San Bernardino) cosponsored H.R. 6135, the Keep Families Together Act. The bill prohibits the separation of children from their parents by Department of Homeland Security (DHS) personnel except for in extreme cases in which a child welfare agency has deemed that the child’s safety is at risk. The bill would effectively end the Trump Administration’s policy of removing children from the custody of their parents at the southern border in addition to increasing child welfare training for Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents and establishing a procedure for reuniting separated families.
“Families, especially those fleeing unspeakable violence, should not be separated by our government, and the Trump Administration’s policy to rip children from the arms of their parents is immoral, cruel and a violation of basic human rights. It’s clear that the president is not willing to do the right thing, which is why my Democratic colleagues and I introduced a legislative solution to the moral crisis the president has created,” said Rep. Aguilar.
The bill, which has over 190 cosponsors, is the companion legislation to a Senate bill introduced last week by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). Despite nearly unanimous support from Democrats in both the House and Senate, no Republicans had signed onto either bill as of June 19, 2018.