Local lawmakers are speaking out against the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy.
On Monday, Gov. Dannel Malloy said he and Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman are calling on President Donald Trump to “end the inhumane policy his administration enacted of forcible separating immigrant children from their parents at the border.”
Nearly 2,000 minors have been separated from their families at the U.S. border over a six-week period during a crackdown on illegal entries, the Department of Homeland Security reported.
The Trump administration recently decided that every adult caught crossing the border illegally will be charged with federal crimes instead of referring those with children to immigration courts.
The harsher punishments for immigrant parents mean their children are separated from them and there's no clear procedure for reunification aside from hotlines the parents can call to try to track down their children.
Malloy released a statement on Monday, where he said he will not send CT “military reservists to participate in any effort at the border that is connected to this inhumane practice.”
The House of Representatives is scheduled to vote this week on a pair of immigration bills, both sponsored by Republicans.
President Trump has indicated he would sign either one.
Senator Richard Blumenthal joined local immigrant families speaking out against the "zero tolerance" policy on Monday as well.
"Make no mistake, the president has falsely claimed that the law requires this zero tolerance policy. There is no law that requires it,” Blumenthal said.
The president maintains he is just following the law and says the Democrats put it in place.
Gov. Malloy's full statement says “The Trump administration’s willingness to push their vile agenda, completely disregarding the U.S. Constitution and basic human decency, knows no bounds. They have heartlessly torn children away from their families, locked them in holding cages in abandoned box stores, and subsequently launched a propaganda campaign of administration officials blatantly lying to the American people about it. It brings dishonor to our country and is the cause of extreme distress for many American citizens. The Trump administration is engaging in this ‘zero-tolerance’ practice that is reminiscent of one of the darkest moment in our history, when Japanese families in America were rounded up and detained in internment camps. Make no mistake – the Trump administration’s hands are not tied here. There is no law that mandates this practice. They are not being forced or coerced into stealing migrant children away from their parents. They are proactively electing to implement this policy and to take such actions. They are, in effect, taking these children hostage, inflicting a lifelong trauma on their innocent lives. It is cruel. It is cowardly. It’s un-American. As I have stated in the past, I will not condone the use of our military reservists to participate in any effort at the border that is connected to this inhumane practice. This vile practice must end.”
Lt. Gov. Wyman also released a statement saying “This practice represents a new low in American foreign policy and in our humanity – it certainly doesn’t reflect the country I was brought up in, know, and love. This isn’t about politics or policy, it’s about children who are suffering terror at the hands of the U.S. government. It’s wrong and it must stop. I deeply appreciate the doctors, lawyers, and advocates who have shown up in Texas ready to defend and care for these traumatized children. They embody the beacon of hope that this nation was once known to be.”
Copyright 2018 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). AP/Meredith contributed to this story. All rights reserved.