Isela Michel Zavala wipes a tear from her mother Yudridia Guadalupe Zavala, whose arm is draped over Isela's daughter Briana Montes, as they meet in the Door of Hope at Borderfield State Park in San Diego on April 30, 2016. The Door of Hope was opened for

(Photo credit: Peggy Peattie/San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS)

Proposal To Stop Agents From Separating Immigrant Families at The Border Gains Support

Jenna Lane
June 12, 2018 - 3:01 pm

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS Radio) - California's Senators are among the dozens of Democrats backing a proposal to stop Homeland Security agents from separating immigrant families at the border.  KCBS Radio's Jenna Lane reports, it's a practice that has accelerated in the last month as part of a crackdown on illegal entry.

Senator Dianne Feinstein introduced her bill with stories of what can happen when adult immigrants are criminally prosecuted for trying to enter the U.S. somewhere besides an official crossing. 
"After being apprehended, the family was given 5 minutes before the crying boys were taken from their mother," Feintstein said. "She's being held in Laredo detention center for 3 months and doesn't know where her children are."

She said more than 650 children were separated from their parents in just two weeks in May, after Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a crackdown on illegal entry.

Senator Kamala Harris calls the consequences human rights abuses. "This is all supposedly in the name of border security," Harris said. "But in fact, we have a government ripping families apart, instead of keeping them together. This is not reflective of who we are as a country and it's gotta stop."

Feinstein's bill would prevent family separation except in certain cases, like where there's evidence of child abuse. She acknowledges it has no Republican support and getting it passed would be challenging.