In First Bipartisan Statement, Senators Urge President to Keep Families Together
Letter Also Calls for Administration to Work with Faith Community on Reunification
U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) joined Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO), James Lankford (R-OK), Chris Coons (D-DE), and Susan Collins (R-ME) in a bipartisan group of more than two dozen senators in sending a letter to President Trump, stating that the default position of the United States should be to keep families together. The letter is the first bipartisan statement firmly opposing the family separation policy and urging the administration to work with the faith community on its efforts to reunify families.
“This sad chapter in our nation’s history must come to an end. And the families who were broken up must be reunited without unnecessary delay,” said Senator Murkowski. “I am fervent in my view that there are more effective, appropriate and humane ways to enforce our nation’s immigration laws than the status quo.”
“While we represent constituents from all faiths and political backgrounds, we have all heard one consistent message—the United States government should not separate children from their families except in extreme circumstances,” the senators wrote in their letter. “Enforcement of our immigration laws should be a high priority, but we must also adhere to our core moral values as Americans.”
U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Angus King (I-ME), James Inhofe (R-OK), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Steve Daines (R-MT), Tom Carper (D-DE), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Gary Peters (D-MI), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Tina Smith (D-MN), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) also signed the letter.
The full text of the letter is below:
Dear Mr. President:
We write to urge your administration to prioritize the reunification of families and to ensure that, from this point forward, the default position of the United States of America is to keep families together.
While we represent constituents from all faiths and political backgrounds, we have all heard one consistent message—the United States government should not separate children from their families except in extreme circumstances. As we work to find a permanent solution, we urge the administration to use all available resources currently at its disposal to reunite families as soon as possible.
Throughout our history, faith-based organizations have partnered with the federal government to help achieve its humanitarian goals. Faith-based organizations, including groups like Sojourners, Catholic Charities USA, World Vision, the National Association of Evangelicals, the Christian Community Development Association, Church World Service, and World Relief are willing and able to support reunification efforts and provide critical services for children and families in need. We encourage you to partner with the faith community to assist with family reunification and keeping families together in the future.
We remain committed to working together to fix our broken immigration system. Enforcement of our immigration laws should be a high priority, but we must also adhere to our core moral values as Americans.
Thank you for your attention to this important matter.