Florida Leaders Weigh In On Policy Separating Immigrant Children From Parents

Jun 19, 2018

A poster brought to the press conference held in Tallahassee.
Credit Kaleigh Wright

North Florida Congressman Al Lawson wants to see the end of a federal policy separating immigant children from their families. Theresa Frederick spoke as a representative for lawson's office at a press conference Tuesday. Frederick said Lawson is hopeful Republicans and Democrats will unite to protect immigrant children.

"This should be a non-partisan effort, both Democrats and Republican should come together to demand that this parciular administration reverses its cruel policy as it relates to seperation of families of immigrants. This is not about politics. This is about human decency," Frederick said.

The practice of separating immigrant children from their families follows a zero-tolerance policy enactred by the Trump adiminstration. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has directed prosecutors to pursue criminal charges against anyone who illegally crosses the border. Children are separated from their parents because they can't be taken to jail. But Linda Miklowitz who serves as vice president of the North Florida Progressive Leadership Council says many people crossing the border are attempting to escape dangerous situations and are seeking asylum in the United States.

"Not only is asylum legal, it is splled out in U.S. Code 11.38 with all the details on how to apply for it. You present yourself to the boarder guards and state a well founded fear of life in your country and your desire to seek asylum in the United States," Miklowitz says.

Meanwhile, other members of Florida's congressional delegation are weighing in on the issue.

Florida U.S. Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL):

Florida U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL):