Bill Clinton blasts family separation: 'Children should not be bargaining chips'

Bill Clinton blasts family separation: 'Children should not be bargaining chips'
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Former President Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonMcAuliffe: We should look at impeaching Trump over Putin summit What ISIS is up to during your summer vacation Kavanaugh once said president would likely have to testify before grand jury if subpoenaed: report MORE this week slammed President TrumpDonald John TrumpDems make history, and other takeaways from Tuesday's primaries Pawlenty loses comeback bid in Minnesota Establishment-backed Vukmir wins Wisconsin GOP Senate primary MORE's "zero tolerance" policy that resulted in separating families at the border, saying that "children should not be bargaining chips." 

“Taking these kids away from their parents makes no sense,” Clinton said Thursday at an event for his new book in Chicago, according to CNN. “It’s wrong. It’s immoral. It’s not required by the law. And it’s not necessary to protect the border. It’s just wrong."

He added that “children should not be bargaining chips," and that "they are people."

"I not only want this to stop, I want them to go get these kids that have already been sent away and give them back to their parents and do it right now," he said.

Clinton's condemnation of the policy comes two days after the president signed an executive order to end a policy that resulted in thousands of children being separated from their parents. It is not yet clear how or when the families already divided under the policy will be reunited. The administration began implementing the policy widely in April.

Trump signed the order after facing increasing pressure from Republican and Democratic lawmakers. Former presidential candidate Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDems make history, and other takeaways from Tuesday's primaries Establishment-backed Vukmir wins Wisconsin GOP Senate primary Ironworker and star of viral video wins Dem primary for Speaker Ryan's seat MORE was one of the many people to criticize the policy and Trump's defense of it earlier this week. 

“Separating families is not mandated by law at all. That is an outright lie," she said. "It’s incumbent on all of us, journalists and citizens alike, to call it just that.”

Many lawmakers continue to question the Trump administration over the policy. On Thursday, Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffRepublicans and Democrats alike face troubling signals from voters Schiff blasts GOP for Russia probe conduct: 'That's how you obstruct an investigation, not how you conduct one' Treason! The new party game that everyone is playing MORE (D-Calif.) tweeted that Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenHouston-area Mexican restaurant responds to backlash for serving Sessions, slams family separations Jeff Sessions dines at Mexican restaurant before speech against uncontrolled immigration Celebrities launch 'Dear Ivanka' Instagram campaign MORE privately told lawmakers that despite Trump signing an executive order, the practice of separating families could continue. 

Trump has repeatedly insisted this week that Congress enact broad immigration reform that includes heightened border security. The House intends to vote on a compromise immigration bill next week and has already rejected a hard-line immigration bill.