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Cruz announces bill to end separation of immigrant families

The Hill logo The Hill 6/18/2018 Jordain Carney

Ted Cruz wearing a suit and tie © Provided by The Hill GOP Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas) said on Monday that he will introduce legislation aimed at preventing the controversial practice of separating immigrant families along the border.

"While these cases are pending, families should stay together. Children belong with their mothers and fathers," Cruz, who is up for reelection in November, said in a statement.

Cruz's proposal, according to a release from his office, would require immigrant families detained along the border would remain together "absent aggravated criminal conduct or threat of harm to the children."

It would also require that asylum cases are adjudicated within 14 days, approve new temporary shelters for immigrant families and increase the number of immigrant judges.

"All Americans are rightly horrified by the images we are seeing on the news, children in tears pulled away from their mothers and fathers. This must stop. Now. We can end this crisis by passing the legislation I am introducing this week," Cruz added.

The legislation comes as the Trump administration is facing increasingly bipartisan backlash over its policies resulting in the separation of immigrant families.

Sessions announced a "zero tolerance" policy earlier this year for immigrants illegally crossing the southern border.

"If you cross the border unlawfully, then we will prosecute you. It's that simple," Sessions said last month at a press conference at the U.S.-Mexico border near San Diego. "If you are smuggling a child, then we will prosecute you. And that child may be separated from you, as required by law."

He added in a statement: "To those who wish to challenge the Trump Administration's commitment to public safety, national security, and the rule of law, I warn you: illegally entering this country will not be rewarded, but will instead be

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