GOVERNMENT

Hatch asks for suspension of family separation policy while Utah Reps work to pass bill

Jun 19, 2018, 7:56 PM

WASHINGTON D.C. — Politicians are scrambling on the federal level to find a new solution at the U.S./Mexico border, and bring an end to the separation of families. Senator Orrin Hatch and 12 other Senators are calling for a “pause” on the zero tolerance policy, while Utah House Republicans still hope to pass an immigration bill within the week.


In this June 13, 2018 photo, Nicole Hernandez, of the Mexican state of Guerrero, holds on to her mother as they wait with other families to request political asylum in the United States, across the border in Tijuana, Mexico. The family has waited for about a week in this Mexican border city, hoping for a chance to escape widespread violence in their home state. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

House of Representatives

Today top House Republicans met with President Donald Trump to discuss a house bill that tackles immigration on a broader spectrum.

“I would call it an upbeat meeting,” said Congressman John Curtis, R. “He was very clear that not only did he want us to pass it, but that he would sign it and be very vocal about it.”

Representative Mia Love also spoke positively about the meeting, in a statement released Tuesday.

“Tonight, I received assurance from the President about his support for a permanent fix for DACA recipients,” she said. “The goal of any immigration reform should reflect our commitment to family, national defense, community and compassion.”

Congressman Chris Stewart, R, floated an idea, Monday, to outfit parents trying to cross the border with GPS ankle bracelets so the government can ensure adults will attend their immigration hearings without splitting up families. Today he said that idea is more of a plan B, just in case they can’t change the court orders that require children to be held separately from their parents.

“I don’t like the idea of putting monitors on parents, but I like that a lot better than separating them,” Stewart said.

He’s confident they’ll pass a broad immigration bill in the house this week.

“For every problem there comes a period in time when the emotion, when the work, when the public support kind of all coalesce together and it allows you to do things you haven’t been able to do before. I believe that is the time for us now,” Stewart said.

Senate

The Utah Senate doesn’t want to wait for the House bill.

Today Utah Senator Orrin Hatch, R, signed his name alongside 12 other senators in a letter asking the Department of Justice to put a pause on the current Immigration Policy.

“Like millions of Americans, we have read with increasing alarm reports of children being separated from their parents at the southern border,” the letter said. “We support the administration’s efforts to enforce our immigration laws, but we cannot support implementation of a policy that results in the categorical forced separation of minor children from their parents. We therefore ask you to halt implementation of the Department’s zero tolerance policy while Congress works out a solution that enables faster processing of individuals who enter our country illegally without requiring the forced, inhumane separation of children from their parents.”

Matt Whitlock, Deputy Chief of Staff for Hatch, said the Senator has been in talks for a couple of weeks trying to decide the best way to approach the problem, but worried a good solution would take too long.

“While Congress takes the time to get this right he doesn’t want to see another several hundred families get separated down at the border,” Whitlock said. “It goes against the values he believes in both as a Utahn and just as an American.”

When asked why the Senator waited this long to act, Whitlock blamed the delay on bad communication between the President’s administration and the Senate.

“I think a lot of Republican Senators would say they didn’t understand the full picture, the magnitude, of what was happening there until just really the last few weeks,” Whitlock said. “One of the challenges for Republicans in the Senate and house has been not getting a clear picture from our administration.”

Whitlock said the 13 senators that signed Hatch’s letter are asking the Department of Justice to rewind the clock back to April, before the “zero tolerance” policy went into effect.

“When Congress rushes legislation they tend to not do it right,” Whitlock said. “He would just really like to take that pressure off.”

Stewart says he’d like to support the letter, but thinks Hatch is approaching the problem in the wrong way.

“All it does is wave a magic wand and say here’s the law and we’re just going to ignore the law,” Stewart said. “I am not comfortable with that. I think the preferred solution is let’s change the law.”

Today’s Top Stories

Government

FILE: Former President Donald Trump, seen here on May 28, filed his paperwork on November 15 establ...
ERIC TUCKER and MICHAEL BALSAMO Associated Press

Garland names special counsel to lead Trump-related probes

The special counsel announced on Friday will oversee the investigation into the presence of classified documents at former President Donald Trump's Florida estate.
3 months ago
utah house members...
Elizabeth Weiler

Utah welcomes new house members in both parties

There are three new party members in both the Utah House and Senate, and a full female line-up in the Utah Democrat's leadership.
3 months ago
A member of the Utah Taxpayers Association weighs in on how Salt Lake County will spend an 85 milli...
Curt Gresseth

SLC voters OK $85 million parks and trails bond. Is it worth higher taxes?

The Utah Tax Payers Association offers insight into the parks and trails bond and breaks down what the money will fund.
3 months ago
UDOT I-15 Study Map WP...
Devin Oldroyd

UDOT is looking for public feedback on I-15 alternatives between Farmington and Salt Lake City

UDOT is inviting the public to share its input with its study team regarding transportation alternatives for I-15. UDOT is accepting feedback until Dec. 16.
3 months ago
The Salt Lake County Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice Initiatives just received a $2 million co...
Devin Oldroyd

Magna Care Coalition receives $2 million grant to prevent youth violence

The Magna United Communities That Care Coalition will use the grant to enact a three-year plan to reduce youth violence in Magna.
3 months ago
The Obama Presidential Center under construction on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2022, in Chicago. Photo cred...
Amir Vera and Joe Sutton, CNN

Noose found at Obama Presidential Center construction site, officials say

In Chicago, a noose was found at the site of the Obama Presidential Center on Thursday.
3 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The best tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing workplace success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
wide shot of Bear Lake with a person on a stand up paddle board...

Pack your bags! Extended stays at Bear Lake await you

Work from here! Read our tips to prepare for your extended stay, whether at Bear Lake or somewhere else nearby.
young boy with hearing aid...
Sorenson

Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

These different types of accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can help them succeed in school.
Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Derm Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
Hatch asks for suspension of family separation policy while Utah Reps work to pass bill