Senate Democrats introduce bill to unite immigrant families

Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nevada

Nevada Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto has joined with Democratic colleagues Kamala Harris of California and Jeff Merkley of Oregon as lead sponsors of legislation “to reunite families at or near ports of entry.”

The bill “would require the Trump administration to immediately reunite separated children with their parents, ensure that separated children have access to legal counsel and contact with their parents, and creates a presumption of release on alternatives to detention, ensuring families are not detained as they pursue legal avenues of relief,” Cortez Masto said in a statement Tuesday.

“Trump’s policy to deliberately inflict trauma on the children of families fleeing persecution is a dark and evil deed,” added Merkley.

The REUNITE Act would be funded by redirecting $50 million from Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

In addition to Cortez Masto, Harris and Merkley, the bill has 11 Senate co-sponsors. None of them are Republicans, who control the Senate.

Hugh Jackson
Editor | Hugh Jackson has been writing about Nevada policy and politics for more than 20 years. He was editor of the Las Vegas Business Press, senior editor at the Las Vegas CityLife weekly newspaper, daily political commentator on the Las Vegas NBC affiliate, and wrote the then-groundbreaking Las Vegas Gleaner, which among other things was the only independent political blog from Nevada that was credentialed at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. He spent a few years as a senior energy and environmental policy analyst for Public Citizen, and has occasionally worked as a consultant on mining, taxation, education and other issues for Nevada labor and public interest organizations. His freelance work has been published in outlets ranging from the Guardian to Desert Companion to In These Times to the Oil & Gas Journal. For several years he also taught U.S. History courses at UNLV. Prior to moving to Las Vegas, he was a reporter and then assistant managing editor at the Casper Star-Tribune, Wyoming’s largest newspaper.


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