Bennet, Gardner among bipartisan group urging Trump to keep immigrant families together

DENVER – Both of Colorado’s U.S. senators on Thursday signed onto a letter sent to President Donald Trump demanding that immigrant families separated at the border be reunified and that the government’s default position be that families should be kept together.

U.S. Sens. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., and Cory Gardner, R-Colo., were among 27 senators from both parties who signed onto the letter.

“While we represent constituents from all faiths and political backgrounds, we have all heard one consistent message—the United States government should not separate children from their families except in extreme circumstances,” the letter said. “As we work to find a permanent solution, we urge the administration to use all available resources currently at its disposal to reunite families as soon as possible.”

The senators called on the president to partner with religious leaders and groups who have in the past worked with the government on immigration measures, including Sojourners, Catholic Charities USA.

“I am very grateful for this bipartisan initiative to call on our government to work with many faith communities in the urgent task of reuniting immigrant children with their families, from whom they have been separated,” President and Founder of Sojourners Jim Wallis said in a statement.

The senators said that they “remain committed to working together to fix our broken immigration system.”

“Enforcement of our immigration laws should be a high priority, but we must also adhere to our core moral values as Americans,” they added in the letter.

On Monday, a federal judge temporarily halted the deportation of some families who had already been united. The Trump administration is supposed to meet a July 26 deadline to reunify more than 2,500 children.

The full letter can be read below:

Dear Mr. President:

We write to urge your administration to prioritize the reunification of families and to ensure that, from this point forward, the default position of the United States of America is to keep families together.

While we represent constituents from all faiths and political backgrounds, we have all heard one consistent message—the United States government should not separate children from their families except in extreme circumstances. As we work to find a permanent solution, we urge the administration to use all available resources currently at its disposal to reunite families as soon as possible.

Throughout our history, faith-based organizations have partnered with the federal government to help achieve its humanitarian goals. Faith-based organizations, including groups like Sojourners, Catholic Charities USA, World Vision, the National Association of Evangelicals, the Christian Community Development Association, Church World Service, and World Relief are willing and able to support reunification efforts and provide critical services for children and families in need. We encourage you to partner with the faith community to assist with family reunification and keeping families together in the future. 

We remain committed to working together to fix our broken immigration system. Enforcement of our immigration laws should be a high priority, but we must also adhere to our core moral values as Americans.

Thank you for your attention to this important matter.

U.S. Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO), James Lankford (R-OK), Chris Coons (D-DE), Susan Collins (R-ME), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Angus King (I-ME), James Inhofe (R-OK), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Steve Daines (R-MT), Tom Carper (D-DE), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Gary Peters (D-MI), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Tina Smith (D-MN), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) signed the letter.

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