WASHINGTON – The breakup of immigrant families at the southern border has generated significant controversy and discussion.
So what do Florida Sens. Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio think?
Nelson has been outspoken on the issue and has joined legislation to stop the practice. Nelson also signed a letter to the administration blasting the practice.
“Your decision to separate children from their parents at the border is cruel, unnecessary, ineffective, and goes against our values as Americans,” Nelson and other lawmakers wrote. “There is no legitimate reason why these children need to be separated from their parents. … We ask that your Administration rescind this unethical, ineffective, and inhumane policy and instead prioritize approaches that align with our humanitarian American values.”
Rubio has not signed onto the legislation — no Republicans have — but said he opposed the policy in a Face The Nation interview late last month.
"Well ultimately when somebody– a couple of things need to happen. Number one is we have a problem and it needs to be dealt with. The ideal scenario is that families be kept together and returned expeditiously back to their country of origin. We sympathize with people that are coming here. America is the most generous country in the world and ideally you wouldn't put people through additional trauma once they came into the United States."
He said he would be open to changing the policy — it's not a "law" as Trump officials contend and is part of the administration's "zero tolerance" approach to the border — but emphasized border security.
"… To send a clear message that you cannot continue to enter the United States illegally. It is actually inhumane not to secure our border because we are sending out a message that is encouraging people to come here we have to understand a lot of these people that are crossing children are being trafficked here. They are being brought here by criminal groups that help guide them and often take advantage of them and brutalize them on the path towards the United States and the ability to cross that border is a magnet that is drawing this behavior."