Rick Santorum: Immigrant parents are putting children 'in peril' by coming to US border

Rick Santorum said Sunday that immigrant parents who bring their children to the U.S. illegally are putting their children in danger by doing so.

Santorum made the comments on CNN’s “State of the Union,” after Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsRosenstein, Sessions discussed firing Comey in late 2016 or early 2017: FBI notes Justice Dept releases another round of summaries from Mueller probe Iowa GOP lawmaker calls flying of trans flag above Capitol an act of the 'Rainbow Jihad' MORE and the head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced earlier this month that adults seeking asylum would be prosecuted separately from their children when their families arrive at the U.S. border. 

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“With all due respect, these parents are putting their children in peril by coming across the border,” Santorum said.

Democratic panelists Nina Turner and Patti Solis Doyle pushed back against the claim, saying the parents are “trying to escape peril.”

“You don’t know their situation,” the former Republican senator from Pennsylvania replied. “There may be all sorts of reasons people come here.”

Turner interjected, saying that’s “not the point” and that “children’s lives are at stake.”

“The parents are putting their children’s lives at stake here,” Santorum said, adding that “the moral obligation is to deter that type of activity.”

“And the children be damned?” Solis Doyle asked.

“At some point the parent has to take responsibility for their children,” Santorum responded.

Santorum later said that children are taken away from parents who are put in jail “all the time.”

“I guarantee you … that millions of kids whose parents have been put in jail have been ‘lost’ in the system and you know that to be true,” he said.

“It cannot be justified and this president is going the extra mile to push this narrative,” Turner replied.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpStates slashed 4,400 environmental agency jobs in past decade: study Biden hammers Trump over video of world leaders mocking him Iran building hidden arsenal of short-range ballistic missiles in Iraq: report MORE has blamed Democrats for his administration's policy, tweeting Saturday that they are responsible for taking action to "end the horrible law."