Rep. Joe Crowley Suggests 'Compensation' for Illegal Aliens Separated From Their Children
The Trump administration's "racist policy" of separating children from the parents who brought them to the United States illegally "is one of the most reprehensible things I've witnessed in my 20 years' service here," Rep. Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.) told a news conference on Wednesday.
"The damage that has been done to these children will be life-long -- to these family units will be life-long, as well. And in fact, I -- I suggest that they need to be compensated for what this administration did to them. But the first form of compensation needs to be the full reunification of these families."
Asked what he meant, Crowley replied:
I don't have anything specific in mind, except that I think that the -- the torte in this -- this particular case, the damage that was done to these children, to their lives, their future life and to their families is -- is quite remarkable. Had it been done to any citizen of the United States, I think the federal government would be looking at incredible lawsuits, I would just say.
Whether or not there's standing or not doesn't take away from the moral obligation to restore these lives. I think the government -- I think our government is -- has a responsibility to do that. How it should be done, I don't know, and whether it ever will be done, I don't know either, quite frankly. But I'm saying that this government inflicted damage on the lives of these children and these families. That, I do know.
Crowley, the chair of the House Democratic Caucus, lost his primary election last month and will not be returning to Congress.
Today, Thursday, is the court-ordered deadline for the Trump administration to reunite all children with their parents.
More than 2,000 children were separated from their parents at the Southwest border in recent months, and the Department of Homeland Security says around 1,100 have been reunited with their parents.
The American Civil Liberties Union, meanwhile, says the Trump administration plans to deport parents as soon as they are reunited with their children. The ACLU is asking the court for a stay to prevent their removal for at least one week after the reunifications take place.
In a court filing on Wednesday, the administration said the ACLU's request for a stay "serves no purpose but extending detention and delaying removal," and it said the court lacks jurisdiction to order the stay.