Cummings slams family separations: 'We will not keep kids in child internment camps'

Rep. Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsHillicon Valley: Trump denies Russian meddling at presser with Putin | Republicans join in criticism of Trump | FCC chief rejects Sinclair-Tribune merger | Uber faces probe over gender discrimination | Social media execs headed to Capitol Overnight Energy: Koch backs bill opposing carbon taxes | Lawmakers look to Interior budget to block offshore drilling | EPA defends FOIA process Indictments show the need for Mueller investigation to continue MORE (D-Md.) on Tuesday slammed the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" immigration policy, which has resulted in separations of undocumented families at the border, saying the U.S. should not allow "child internment camps." 

"Even if you believe people entered our country illegally. Even if you believe they have no valid asylum claims in their own country. Even if you believe immigration should be halted entirely, we all should be able to agree that in the United States of America, we will not intentionally separate children from their parents. We will not do that. We are better than that. We are so much better," Cummings yelled during a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing. 

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"We should be able to agree we will not keep kids in child internment camps indefinitely and hidden away from public view. What country is that?" he asked. 

"We do not need legislation. This is a policy, and understand this, this was a policy invented, implemented and executed by President Donald Trump."

"And so in conclusion, Mr. Chairman, we need you. Those children need you, and I'm talking directly to my Republican colleagues. We need you to stand up to President TrumpDonald John TrumpShocking summit with Putin caps off Trump’s turbulent Europe trip GOP lambasts Trump over performance in Helsinki Trump stuns the world at Putin summit MORE," Cummings said, appearing to choke up. 

"We need you to join us in telling him that we reject this mean policy. We need you to tell him to abandon this policy." 

Cummings's remarks come amid bipartisan outrage over the Trump administration policy, which it argues is a deterrent to keep migrants from crossing the border illegally. 

Administration officials on Monday pointed to Congress, saying lawmakers should be held responsible for coming up with a fix. 

“We’re not the ones responsible for creating this problem. We’ve inherited it,” press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said at the White House press briefing on Monday. “But we’re actually the first administration stepping up and trying to fix it.” 

“Calling attention to this matter is important. This is a very serious issue that has resulted after years and years of Congress not taking action,” Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said at the briefing. 

“So I would thank them both for their comments, I would thank them both for their concerns. I share their concerns,” she continued. “But Congress is the one that needs to fix this.”