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Romney backs Laura Bush on border: ‘We need a more compassionate answer’

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Mitt Romney on Monday came out against President Trump’s policy of separating migrant families at the southern border, saying that the U.S. needs a “more compassionate answer” to illegal crossings.

The former Massachusetts governor and current Utah GOP Senate candidate retweeted former first lady Laura Bush, who wrote an op-ed criticizing the policy as “cruel” and “immoral.”

{mosads}Romney is one of a growing number of GOP figures to speak out against the policy. Republican Sens. Susan Collins (Maine) and Jeff Flake (Ariz.) wrote a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen seeking clarification on the policy. 

Collins said Sunday that she does not support the policy, which she called “inconsistent with our American values.” 

All 49 members of the Senate Democratic caucus have pledged support for legislation to prevent the separation of families at the border. No Republican senators have yet said they would support the bill.

The Trump administration earlier this year announced a “zero tolerance” policy to prosecute adults crossing the border illegally, leading to thousands of migrant children being separated from their parents.

In recent days, images and accounts from undocumented youth detention centers have emerged, sparking major outcry from primarily Democratic lawmakers. 

Trump has incorrectly and repeatedly claimed that the policy is the “law” and has blamed Democrats for not acting on immigration legislation.

But Trump administration officials, including Attorney General Jeff Sessions and chief of staff John Kelly, have defended the policy as a necessary border security measure. And Nielsen insisted Sunday that the administration does not “have a policy” to separate families. 

Trump is scheduled to meet with House Republicans about immigration on Tuesday.

Tags Donald Trump Jeff Flake Jeff Sessions John Kelly Kirstjen Nielsen Mitt Romney Susan Collins

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