“We’re hearing from many of our Democratic colleagues that the Administration ought to simply quit enforcing the law. But that is something we all have taken an oath to uphold and defend the constitution and laws of the United States.”

 

‘The answer to this current situation is a solution that allows us to both enforce the law and keep families together. They don’t have to be mutually exclusive.’

 

‘I think our goal should be pretty clear and simple: ensure that families stay together at ICE facilities while their criminal or civil proceedings are ongoing, clarify that the so-called Flores Settlement does not apply to children who cross the border illegally with their parents, and promote the expedited consideration of detained families by immigration judges so that they’re not left in limbo for any longer than is absolutely necessary.’

 

Today on the floor, U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) outlined some of his ideas for how to address the ongoing family separation crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border. Excerpts of Sen. Cornyn’s floor remarks are below.

 

“I think every member of this chamber will agree with the Trump Administration that we should never be placing children in prisons or jails with hardened criminals when their parents are being prosecuted. But by the same token, I and many others certainly don’t want family members to be separated from one another as a consequence of Department of Homeland Security and Administration officials enforcing laws they were sworn to uphold.”

 

“We’re hearing from many of our Democratic colleagues that the Administration ought to simply quit enforcing the law. But that is something we all have taken an oath to uphold and defend the constitution and laws of the United States.”

 

“The answer to this current situation is a solution that allows us to both enforce the law and keep families together. They don’t have to be mutually exclusive.”

 

“Some of my colleagues and I… are working together to try to come up with a way to keep families unified when they’re detained at the border. I think our goal should be pretty clear and simple: ensure that families stay together at ICE facilities while their criminal or civil proceedings are ongoing, clarify that the so-called Flores Settlement does not apply to children who cross the border illegally with their parents, and promote the expedited consideration of detained families by immigration judges so that they’re not left in limbo for any longer than is absolutely necessary. I believe these are the building blocks for a consensus approach, one that every member, Republican and Democrat alike, could rally behind.”

 

“All of us believe that families crossing the border should be kept together. Where we differ is whether or not we believe we should also enforce our immigration laws. But as I said, it need not be an either/or proposition. We can keep families unified while at the same time remain resolute in enforcing our immigration laws, because, in fact, Congress wrote them and it’s within our prerogative to change them if we wish.”

 

“There’s no reason for anybody to oppose what I’ve laid out. Either we are a nation of laws with a government that enforces them or we are a nation with no laws and open borders. So I would urge all of our colleagues on both sides of the aisle to keep talking and keep an open mind. I believe in a very contentious subject like immigration, we could literally come together and resolve this situation swiftly and ensure that these children are kept with their families and that the law is enforced according to what the laws are on the books.”

 

Senator John Cornyn, a Republican from Texas, is a member of the Senate Finance, Intelligence, and Judiciary Committees.