IMMIGRATION DEBATE | Jeb Bush tweets against Trump policy


1:29 p.m.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is among the latest Republicans to speak out against the Trump administration’s policy of family separation at the border, writing that children “shouldn’t be used as a negotiating tool.”

Bush tweets that President Donald Trump “should end this heartless policy and Congress should get an immigration deal done that provides for asylum reform, border security and a path to citizenship for Dreamers.”

The former governor, who was among Trump’s opponents in the 2016 primaries, has said that crossing the border illegally is often an “act of love.”

He is just the latest member of the Bush family to weigh in on the family separation controversy. Former first lady Laura Bush called the policy “cruel” and “immoral” in a guest column for the Washington Post Sunday.

1:01 p.m.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Defending his administration’s harsh immigration policies, President Donald Trump says the U.S. won’t be a “migrant camp” or “refugee holding facility.”

Says Trump: “Not on my watch.”

Unbowed by mounting bipartisan criticism of a policy that separates some immigrant children and parents at the U.S.-Mexico border, Trump says, “I say it’s very strongly the Democrats’ fault.”

Speaking before an event on U.S. space policy, Trump says there is “death and destruction” caused by people in the U.S. illegally.

He says: “A country without borders is not a country at all.”

Trump has blamed Democrats for the separation of families at the border and is pressuring them to negotiate with Republicans on an immigration bill. But the separations are a consequence of the Trump administration “zero tolerance” policy, announced in April, which maximizes criminal prosecutions of people caught trying to enter the U.S. illegally. That means more adults are jailed, pending trial, so their children are removed from them.

11:03 a.m.

WARREN — U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan said today he is “absolutely appalled” the country is separating some kids from their parents who are seeking asylum in the United States.

Ryan of Howland, D-13th, said it’s “basically insane” to continue the policy.”

“This is not complicated” and what’s being done is “abhorrent,” Ryan said today during a meeting with the local media at his Warren congressional office.

9:49 a.m.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is rejecting criticism that his “zero-tolerance” immigration policy has caused family separations at the U.S. southern border, pointing to crime in Germany and gangs in the U.S. as the reason tough laws are necessary.

He tweeted: “We don’t want what is happening with immigration in Europe to happen with us!”

This spring, the Trump administration ordered prosecutors to charge every person illegally crossing the border. Children traveling with the adults have been separated and placed in detention centers.

Trump blamed Democrats for not fixing the law, despite the GOP being divided on the issue and unable to agree on an immigration plan. He tweeted: “Where is the outcry for the killings and crime being caused by gangs and thugs, including MS-13, coming into our country illegally?”

Several high-profile killings in Germany in which migrants were suspects made national headlines. But according to official crime statistics released last month, crime in Germany dropped nearly 10 percent in 2017 compared with the previous year.

Meanwhile, former Trump adviser Anthony Scaramucci says it “doesn’t feel right” for the Trump administration to blame Democrats for separating parents and children at the southern border as a way of pressuring Democrats into negotiating on a Republican immigration bill.

Trump tweeted Sunday, “The Democrats should get together with their Republican counterparts and work something out on Border Security & Safety. Don’t wait until after the election because you are going to lose!”

But Scaramucci noted on CNN Monday that Republicans control the House, Senate and presidency. Using the separation of children and parents “as a leverage point or a negotiating point ... just doesn’t feel right,” he said.

Nearly 2,000 children have been taken from their parents since Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the administration’s “zero tolerance” policy, which directs Homeland Security officials to refer all cases of illegal entry into the United States for prosecution.

Scaramucci told CNN that images of children being taken from these parents or in holding areas “is very, very bad for the Republican party and it’s very bad for the president.”

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