Mississippians react to separation of families at the border - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

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Mississippians react to separation of families at the border

Mississippi politicians react to separation of families at the border. Source: WLBT Mississippi politicians react to separation of families at the border. Source: WLBT
Mississippi politicians react to separation of families at the border. Source: WLBT Mississippi politicians react to separation of families at the border. Source: WLBT
Mississippi politicians react to separation of families at the border. Source: WLBT Mississippi politicians react to separation of families at the border. Source: WLBT
Mississippi politicians react to separation of families at the border. Source: WLBT Mississippi politicians react to separation of families at the border. Source: WLBT
Mississippi politicians react to separation of families at the border. Source: WLBT Mississippi politicians react to separation of families at the border. Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

The controversy surrounding migrant families separated by U.S. border agents is ramping up.

Their policy is that if you cross the border illegally, you will be prosecuted. But the controversy comes with the idea that children can't be held with their parents.

"Shock and fear and sadness about what is happening along the border," said executive director of the Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance Bill Chandler.

Chandler sees how concerns about the separation policy are reaching more people than usual.

"It's gotten people's attention that normally wouldn't pay attention to that issue," noted Chandler. "They think, oh well that's a political issue. It's more than a political issue. It's a human rights issue."

The minors have been separated from their families in the past six weeks, since Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a zero tolerance policy where everyone caught crossing the border illegally will be prosecuted. Children can't go to jail with their parents, so they're separated.

"Kids that are more conscience about what's going on in life, it's very traumatic and will have devastating effects on them for the rest of their life," added Chandler.

Congressman Bennie Thompson was in Brownsville, Texas, Monday to tour the facilities and says it's "abundantly clear that President Trump must put an end to his family separation policy."

"As a Member of Congress, a grandfather, and an American, it is obvious to me that this horrific policy goes against everything our country and the American people stand for," added Thompson via statement. "Families belong together and babies and children should never be used as political pawns in the immigration debate.”

Republican Senator Roger Wicker also sent a statement.

“It is heartbreaking whenever children are separated from their families," said Wicker. "This sad situation is a result of a border that is not secure and policies that have encouraged people to break our immigration laws. We need to enforce our borders and our laws while ensuring that everyone in U.S. custody is always treated fairly and humanely. I hope we can find a solution to this problem soon. There must be a better solution than a simple choice between ‘catch and release’ and separating children from their parents.”

But Governor Phil Bryant is standing by his strong support of the president.

"Like I shared with President Trump at the White House recently, America is a nation of laws, and I am grateful his administration is enforcing them," said Governor Bryant. "Every state must make similar decisions when removing a child who has been neglected or abused by their parents. It is an unfortunate reality of our justice system."

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