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Dem presidential hopefuls seize on Trump border policy

Dem presidential hopefuls seize on Trump border policy
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Democratic hopefuls for president are seizing on the separation of children from their guardians at the border to blast the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy as inhumane. 

The controversy, which has received wall-to-wall coverage on cable news, has given the Democrats a chance to compete in criticizing the Trump administration while trying out appeals to Hispanic voters.

Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisOn The Money: Deficit hits six-year high of 9 billion | Yellen says Trump attacks threaten Fed | Affordable housing set for spotlight in 2020 race Election Countdown: Cruz, O'Rourke fight at pivotal point | Ryan hitting the trail for vulnerable Republicans | Poll shows Biden leading Dem 2020 field | Arizona Senate debate tonight Affordable housing set for spotlight of next presidential campaign MORE (D-Calif.) generated a string of headlines when she became the first lawmaker to call for the resignation of Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenTop Judiciary Dems call for unredacted 'zero tolerance' memo The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by PhRMA — Dem path to a Senate majority narrows Hillicon Valley: Officials warn of Chinese influence efforts | Dow drops over 800 points | Tech stocks hit hard | Google appeals B EU fine | James Murdoch may be heading for Tesla | Most Americans worried about election security MORE, Trump’s embattled Homeland Security secretary.

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Harris, 53, called Trump’s policy a “human rights abuse.” 


Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandAffordable housing set for spotlight of next presidential campaign Overnight Defense — Presented by The Embassy of the United Arab Emirates — Senators seek US intel on journalist's disappearance | Army discharged over 500 immigrant recruits in one year | Watchdog knocks admiral over handling of sexual harassment case Pentagon watchdog knocks top admiral for handling of sexual harassment case MORE (D-N.Y.), 51, on Tuesday called the zero tolerance policy “an evil, dark thing” during a Politico podcast, while Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenHatch mocks Warren over DNA test with his own results showing '1/1032 T-Rex' Warren DNA test reinvigorates fight with Trump On The Money: Deficit hits six-year high of 9 billion | Yellen says Trump attacks threaten Fed | Affordable housing set for spotlight in 2020 race MORE (D-Mass.) railed against President TrumpDonald John TrumpKey takeaways from the Arizona Senate debate Major Hollywood talent firm considering rejecting Saudi investment money: report Mattis says he thought 'nothing at all' about Trump saying he may leave administration MORE’s refusal to change course.

“@realdonaldtrump could pick up the phone and stop the separation of families seeking refuge in the US,” Warren, 68, wrote Monday on Twitter. “Instead, he continues to hold thousands of kids hostage to try and get Congress to pay for his stupid wall. This is his policy, and he can stop it.” 

Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersTrump attacks ‘Crazy Bernie’ Sanders over Medicare plans Overnight Defense: Trump says 'rogue killers' could be behind missing journalist | Sends Pompeo to meet Saudi king | Saudis may claim Khashoggi killed by accident | Ex-VA chief talks White House 'chaos' | Most F-35s cleared for flight Overnight Energy: Trump administration doubles down on climate skepticism | Suspended EPA health official hits back | Military bases could host coal, gas exports MORE (I-Vt.) sent an email to his campaign list of supporters to blast the policy, the third time in recent days that he has spoken about the issue. 

Earlier this week, Sanders delivered a speech on the floor urging Congress to take action. 

“The United States of America is not and must never be about locking up little children in cages on the southern border,” Sanders, 76, said. “And right now we have the opportunity and must take advantage of that opportunity to pass legislation to end that horrific practice.” 

Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerOn The Money: Deficit hits six-year high of 9 billion | Yellen says Trump attacks threaten Fed | Affordable housing set for spotlight in 2020 race Affordable housing set for spotlight of next presidential campaign Cruz takes dig at Beto O’Rourke, calls him ‘top 10‘ contender for Dems in 2020 MORE (D-N.J.) called it a “shameful chapter in American history” and said the policy is “morally scarring this country.” 

“This is a low point for me as an American,” Booker, 49, said. “This is really one of the lowest points for me that is heartbreaking for me as an American to see my country engage in behavior that is so despicable, so morally reprehensible. … All of us should be hurting right now.” 

A CNN poll out this week shows that two-thirds of Americans disapprove of the policy of taking migrant children and placing them in government facilities. At the same time, nearly 60 percent of Republicans support the policy. 

Trump has repeatedly sought to blame Democrats for the policy, making an argument that a law requires parents to be separated from children. In reality, as Republican and Democratic lawmakers have noted, there is no such law and the past two administrations, led by former Presidents George W. Bush and Obama, chose not to separate families. 

“Democrats are the problem,” Trump wrote Tuesday on Twitter. “They don’t care about crime and want illegal immigrants, no matter how bad they may be, to pour into and infest our country, like MS-13. They can’t win on their terrible policies, so they view them as potential voters.” 

“We must always arrest people coming into our country illegally,” he wrote in another tweet. “Of the 12,000 children, 10,000 are being sent by their parents on a very dangerous trip, and only 2000 are with their parents, many of whom have tried to enter our country illegally on numerous occasions.” 

In a third tweet, Trump called on Congress to “change the ridiculous and obsolete laws on immigration.” 

“Get it done, always keeping in mind that we must have strong border security,” he said.