Congressman Jim Cooper

Representing the 5th District of Tennessee

Cooper Condemns Trump’s Family Separation Policy, Calls It An “Unspeakable Betrayal of America’s History”

Jun 19, 2018
Press Release

Congressman Cosponsors the Keep Families Together Act


NASHVILLE – Continuing to fight for immigrant families, U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05) today condemned President Trump’s “zero-tolerance” policy, which has resulted in separating children from their families at the border.

Rep. Cooper’s condemnation occurred during a news conference in Nashville, where he called the separation policy an “unspeakable betrayal of America’s history.” The full news conference can be downloaded and viewed here.

At the news conference, Rep. Cooper announced he is cosponsoring a new bill that would keep families together and prevent children from being separated from their parents. The Keep Families Together Act, sponsored by Rep. Jerrold Nadler (NY-10), will be introduced today. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) introduced a similar bill in the Senate that is supported by all Democratic senators.

“This policy is deliberate cruelty. Kids are being damaged permanently every day. This is an embarrassment to the world and must end immediately,” Rep. Cooper said. “Trump has the ability to stop family separations himself, but if the White House doesn’t act now, Congress must step forward and save these children.”

President Trump and other White House officials have falsely claimed the administration is enforcing a law. In reality, the practice is part of the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance” policy, where the decision was made to prosecute all families trying to enter the country. Parents are apprehended, which separates children from their families. President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama stepped up enforcement at the border, but did not pursue family separation. The current policy could be overturned by President Trump today.

Earlier this month, Rep. Cooper announced his opposition to the Trump policy and took several other steps, requesting a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee investigation; asking House appropriators to cut off any funding for any program used to separate families; and cosponsoring a House resolution condemning the practice.