Democrats are rejecting a Republican legislative proposal to address the southern border crisis, with one U.S. Senator telling President Donald Trump to "take that goddamn pen of yours" and change the policy of separating illegal immigrant parents from their children.
The Trump administration has come under fire for its "zero tolerance" policy where all migrants illegally crossing the border are prosecuted and separated from their children if they're traveling with them. Trump has called on Democrats to work with Republicans to address the border and says he hates seeing the separations enforced by law, but critics have noted he can stop that particular policy on his own.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) told reporters Tuesday the entire Republican conference supported a bill that would keep families together at the border, and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said Monday "Congress alone can fix it."
But Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) said it "makes no sense" to address the problem that way, The Hill reports.
"There are so many obstacles to legislation and when the president can do it with his own pen, it makes no sense," Schumer said. "Legislation is not the way to go here when it’s so easy for the president to sign it."
"The president can change it with his pen," he said. "Unacceptable additions have bogged down every piece of legislation we’ve done."
Sen. Mazie Hirono (D., Hawaii) took things a step further in her remarks to reporters.
"Mr. President, have a heart for a change," she said. "Take that goddamn pen of yours and do away with this horrendous, inhumane policy of yours that rips children from the arms of their parents."
Sen. Mazie Hirono: "Mr. President, have a heart for a change. Take that goddamn pen of yours and do away with this horrendous inhumane policy of yours that rips children from the arms of their parents." (via CSPAN) pic.twitter.com/Q8P6fyC92m
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) June 19, 2018