Last week, Connie and I traveled to El Paso, Texas, on our southern border, to bear witness to this humanitarian crisis. We met with children and families who are coming to our country to flee violence and persecution, seeking a better life.
Talking with these families underscored the inhumanity and coldness of President Trump’s family separation policy. But meeting with the volunteers gave us hope – these activists represent the best in our country, which for generations has welcomed people looking to build a better life for their families.
Our immigration system is broken. We know that. But the way we solve this isn’t by tearing families apart and putting them in cages.
While we were inspired by the efforts of advocates and volunteers who are working every day to give families the dignity they deserve and speak out against the Administration’s harmful policies, it’s up to Congress and elected leaders to stand up, tell the President ‘enough,’ and take swift, meaningful action.
That’s why last week, I introduced legislation that would create real, enforceable standards of care for refugees in U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) custody. That means health screenings by a real medical professional, and standards on nutrition, water, sanitation, shelter, emergency care, and all the factors you need when we think about creating humane conditions for people to live.
It’s time for the president to end family separations, end the deplorable conditions at the border, and work with the both parties to find a bipartisan solution to fix our immigration system.
We can’t abandon the values that make this country great, and have made the United States a beacon of hope around the world for generations.
Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) represents the state in the U.S. Senate.