Jeff Sessions: Migrant children held by administration are ‘well cared for’
Attorney General Jeff Sessions asserted in an op-ed published late Tuesday that migrant children who are held by the Department of Health and Human Services, including those who are separated from their parents, are “well cared for.”
“In fact, they get better care than a lot of American kids do. They are provided plenty of food, education in their language, health and dental care, and transported to their destination city — all at taxpayer expense,” Sessions wrote in the USA Today op-ed.
“Separations are temporary and rare,” the attorney general wrote, adding that “the vast majority of children in custody came to this country by themselves.”
Since the Trump administration instituted its “zero-tolerance” policy on immigration this spring, under which anyone caught entering the US illegally is referred for criminal prosecution, more than 2,000 children have been separated from their families. The policy and the resulting separations have been widely criticized.
Sessions defended the policy and urged Congress to take action to reach a long-term immigration solution, even though President Donald Trump has the ability to unilaterally take action.
“We do not want to separate parents from their children,” he wrote.
“What we want is a safe, lawful system of immigration that would end this question altogether. We want to build a wall to prevent illegal entry. Congress could make that happen quickly — and they should,” Sessions said.
On Tuesday, Trump met with Republicans on Capitol Hill to discuss legislative ways to end the family separations. While some lawmakers emerged from the meeting convinced that Trump had endorsed a compromise measure, others said the President appeared noncommittal.
“It’s always nice to see the President but this didn’t move the ball,” one Republican lawmaker told CNN.