Crist Proposes to Immediately Reunite Immigrant Families
The proposal by U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist would see the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security fined $1,000 a day for each child that was not reunited within 30 days.
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, D-St. Petersburg, announced today (June 21) he will introduce the Reunifying Separated Families Act of 2018 requiring the Department of Homeland Security to immediately reunify children separated from their families at the border after implementation of the Trump Administration’s “Zero Tolerance” policy.
For each child not reunited within 30 days, DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen would be fined $1,000 per child per day. While the Administration reversed course on its unthinkable policy of separating children from their parents, the crisis for these kids continues, Crist said. (Please find background on the bill below).
“This was a heartless policy and a nightmare for the children and families involved. More than 2,300 kids were ripped from their parents, yet the Trump Administration still has no plan for reuniting them with their families. It’s unacceptable,” Crist said. “The Reunifying Separated Families Act would hold the Trump Administration accountable until they return these children to their parents – where they belong.”
Crist said his proposal would “begin to end the national nightmare created by the Trump Administration” by:
- Reuniting families: Immediately requires the Department of Homeland Security to reunite the estimated 2,300 separated children with their families.
- Holding the Trump Administration accountable: Applies civil penalties to the Secretary of Homeland Security every day for each child not reunited with their parents.
- Investigate missing children: Launches an investigation into Customs and Border Patrol, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the Department of Homeland Security regarding why the federal agencies have lost children.
- Establishing a permanent ban on separating families: Permanently outlaws the practice of separating a minor child from their parents as part of enforcing immigration laws.
Wednesday (June 20), in the Financial Services Committee, a senior ICE official refused to answer Crist’s questions about the agency’s policy of separating families at the border, the welfare of children taken from their parents, and plans for family reunification. Watch here.
Crist represents Florida’s 13th Congressional District, which includes south and mid-Pinellas County.
For information about Crist, go to crist.house.gov.
Photos are screen grabs from the video taken during Wednesday’s Financial Services Committee meeting. Courtesy of Charlie Crist.
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