2 Mid-South families detained at U.S. border by Trump's zero-tolerance policy

Group prepares for immigration event
Updated: Jun. 18, 2018 at 6:35 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - At least two Mid-South families have been affected by the Trump Administration's zero-tolerance immigration policy.

Latino Memphis said it is working to help both families.

President Donald Trump and his administration is standing firm on the zero-tolerance policy. The policy calls for the prosecution of anyone who comes across the border illegally. This has resulted in more than 2,000 children being separated from their parents and detained in a detention facility, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

Homeland Security Secretary Kristjen Nielsen said Monday that her department is doing its job.

"We will not apologize for the job we do or for the job law enforcement does for doing the job that the American people expect us to do," Nielsen said.

Politicians from both sides of the aisle have come forward against the separation of children from their families at the U.S. border--including First Lady Melania Trump, former First Lady Laura Bush, Sen. Bob Corker, former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, and Michael Hayden, who was the CIA director appointed by President George W. Bush.

"I would sum it up in two words. I think it's inhumane and unnecessary," Latino Memphis Executive Director Mauricio Calvo said.

Calvo said now is the time for Congress to step up and fix what he calls a broken immigration system.

"Now that people are finally seeing this image of children being separated, then people are saying, 'Oh my God. We have to do something about it,'" Calvo said.

Emily Fulmer agrees. She's a mother of two young children, and she said she was outraged 12 years ago when she went to a U.S. immigration detention center. Now, she's working to call attention to our country's immigration system in hopes of getting lawmakers to improve the system.

"Just seeing the images and reading the reports of what's going on at the border just shattered me," Fulmer said.

On June 25 at Shady Grover Presbyterian Church, local nonprofits, legal clinics, and immigration advocacy groups will help educate people on what's happening at the border and how they can best help move the country toward a solution.

"Texas seems likes a million miles away," Shady Grover Presbyterian Pastor Will Christians said. "We are all in this fight together. It doesn't matter if you are in Tennessee or Texas; these kinds of policies erode the moral fibers of our society."

Meanwhile, on Monday morning Trump fired off six Tweets about immigration. The Tweets linked immigration to crime and blamed Democrats for forcing his administration to separate immigrant children from their families.

Congress is expected to vote on two immigration plans later this week.

Below are comments from Mid-South representatives on the Trump administration zero-tolerance policy:

"Illegal immigration is against the law but new enforcement policies have resulted in hundreds of children being separated from their parents. The administration should end that new policy immediately while Congress works with the president on a bipartisan immigration solution that secures the border, provides a status for those already here and prevents a humanitarian crisis at the border." -- Sen. Lamar Alexander

"While the issues surrounding our immigration system are complex, we can all agree that innocent children should be protected and not used for deterrence. The administration should use all tools available to stop needless family separation without delay, and Congress should act swiftly to address the serious challenges facing our nation's immigration system." -- Sen. Bob Corker

"What's been happening is atrocious. Having children separated from their mothers in particular is just the most inhumane thing we could do...This is what's really wrong with where this country is going that we've got inhumane policies, people who don't have any regard for the truth and defending them." -- Rep. Steve Cohen

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