Rep. Tim Ryan said he’s ‘absolutely appalled’ by the administration’s immigration policy to separate some kids from their parents


By David Skolnick

skolnick@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan said he is “absolutely appalled” the President Donald Trump administration is separating some children from their parents who are seeking asylum in the United States.

“What the president is doing now to these families, to these young kids, is abhorrent,” Ryan of Howland, D-13th, said during a Monday news conference at his Warren congressional office.

“It goes against everything we believe in as a country. You’re seeing the faith-based communities, different institutions and organizations against it because it’s appalling, and the president doesn’t need to do this. We can solve this problem, and we should do it this week.”

Ryan said: “It’s an issue that we need to deal with appropriately, humanely, passionately, kindly, and it may not work for everybody to end up in the United States, but, geez, oh, man, separating them from the kids is hard to watch.”

Nearly 2,000 children were taken from their parents in April and May since Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a “zero tolerance” immigration policy for people attempting to come across the southern border, according to various media reports.

The policy directs the Department of Homeland Security to refer all cases of illegal entry into the United States for prosecution. Children making the illegal crossings along with adults have been separated and sent to detention centers.

Trump, a Republican, has rejected criticism of the policy, pointing on Twitter to crime in Germany and gangs in the U.S. as the reasons tough laws are necessary.

“In a scenario where you’re talking 2,000 kids and housing – basically incarcerating – them, giving them a couple of hours of free time a day, it’s insane that we’re doing this to young people in the United States,” Ryan said.

He added: “Everybody wants a secure border. I want a secure border. I think most Americans want a secure border. We don’t want drugs to come in. We don’t want terrorists to come in.”

But Ryan called Trump’s policy “mean-spirited. I don’t understand why we do this. We have Democrats and Republicans agreeing on this.”

REP. JOHNSON: Not a new policy

Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson of Marietta, R-6th, said: “By choosing to cross the border, illegally, and often in dangerous circumstances, illegal immigrants are putting their children at risk. No one likes to see the images we have seen, but it’s important to remember that this is not a new policy or new phenomenon at our southern border.”

Johnson added, “I’ve said for years now that we need immigration reform, and that it starts with securing our borders, period.

“Once we have robust border security, then we can start to work on solving these other important issues. The president will be meeting with House Republicans [today] on a way forward, and I look forward to hearing what he has to say.”

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