The state’s announced Republican candidates for U.S. House and Senate are united in their opinion of the Trump administration’s practice of separating children from parents detained for trying to cross the U.S. border illegally.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The state’s announced Republican candidates for U.S. House and Senate are united in their opinion of the Trump administration’s practice of separating children from parents detained for trying to cross the U.S. border illegally.
They’re against it.
Though most of the state’s announced Republican congressional candidates didn’t declare their positions with the passion used by the Democratic incumbents they’d like to replace — U.S. Rep. James Langevin, for instance, blasted the policy in a speech on the House floor last Tuesday, calling on the administration “to halt this horrendous practice and exercise some compassion for those who need it most” — they still each gave a firm “no.”
The Republicans said they agreed the nation’s borders needed to be secure, but interning children while their parents’ immigration cases were processed went too far.
“The president is rightly focused on securing our country, including our borders,” former state Supreme Court justice and Republican U.S. candidate Robert Flanders said. “But I believe we can accomplish this objective without separating families at the border, which imposes unnecessary suffering and is inconsistent with our American ideals.”
Robert A. Nardolillo III, a Republican state representative from Coventry who is also seeking the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate, was leery of the practice, too.
“I strongly support the need for our borders to be secured and the enforcement of immigration law,” Nardolillo said. “But separating children from their families, and emotionally damaging them while doing that, I can’t support. We must come to the table, Ds [Democrats] and Rs [Republicans] and re-address this policy.”
Salvatore Caiozzo, running for the Republican nomination to replace Langevin, was an exception in the group. He was passionate, declaring the practice “disturbs every fiber of my being.”
“I refuse to believe all these parents who cross the border are bad people,” he said, ”… attempting to scare them by threatening to separate parents from their children is cruel. We need to solve illegal immigration, but this is not how we do it.”
The administration’s policy was creating a moment of bipartisanship in the state’s congressional races, putting Flanders and Nardolillo in agreement with the man they both want to unseat, Democratic U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse.
“The Trump administration’s policy of separating even very small children from their parents who come seeking asylum is fundamentally un-American,” Whitehouse said. “This separation is known to hurt these little kids. President Trump should immediately end this policy.”
Democratic U.S. Rep David Cicilline was in Texas over the weekend visiting the facilities where the children were being held.
Cicilline said the administration policy was “contrary to our founding values” and was intended “clearly to punish people who come to the border seeking asylum and to use the policy of separating parents from children as a way to discourage asylum requests.”
Democratic U.S. Sen. Jack Reed, who is not facing reelection this year, was also against the policy, calling it “repugnant to most Americans.”FacebookTwitterGoogle +