WASHINGTON, DC — U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito indicated support for enforcement of existing U.S. immigration laws, but she too had reservations about the images of children being separated from their families.
“At this moment, I think we need to keep the families together,” she told Hoppy Kercheval in a Tuesday interview for Metronews Talkline.
Capito is joined a growing number of Republicans who are under increasing pressure to denounce the Trump Administration’s zero tolerance policy which jails those who illegally cross the border a second time as felons and places their children into the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services.
Capito said the country needed to find a way to keep them together, but also save face and stand firm on U.S. immigration law.
“We’ve seen the images and I think we’re compassionate and we want to make sure children have the care they need and deserve and I think we’ve come up short there,” she said.
Capito, who herself is a parent and grandparent, admitted those roles played into her concern to find a different way forward.
“I don’t think I can ever get away from the feeling of a mother and grandmother. That’s who I am,” she said. “Certainly it’s being driven by the images and it’s politically motivated a the same time, but I think we can find a solution.”
U.S. Senator Joe Manchin on Monday became the last Senate Democrat to sign onto a Democrat backed bill which would forbid separation of families.
Capito’s remarks came a day after she visited the White House and met with President Trump. Very little was discussed about the separation policy during that meeting according to Capito. Instead it focused heavily on funding for the Department of Homeland Security and specifically border protection. Capito is chair of the Senate Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee.
Tuesday, the subcommittee advanced a markup of the FY2019 Homeland Security government funding bill. Included in the measure was funding for a number of border security measures and what Capito called, “…a major down payment on border security and fully funds the FY2019 request for the border wall system. ”
“We have a very strong bill that addresses critical Homeland Security needs—providing the department and its nearly 250,000 employees with the resources they need to carry out a broad set of missions that spans the entire globe,” Capito said in a statement released by her office. “My highest priority in writing this bill was providing what is necessary to secure U.S. borders, and I’m proud to say that our legislation recommends a major down payment to that end.”
Manchin is also a member of the committee and voted in favor of the measure.
“As a member of this subcommittee, I voted to pass funding for the border wall because we have to secure our borders. I also believe we need additional border security measures to properly strengthen our border and protect our country.” he explained in a press release afterward. “We must secure our border and make sure that dangerous criminals cannot enter this country and that people coming into our country are doing so legally.”