Dem rips Trump: US should not inflict 'cruelty on children' to deter asylum seekers

Dem rips Trump: US should not inflict 'cruelty on children' to deter asylum seekers
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Sen. Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleyOvernight Energy: Judge halts drilling on Wyoming public lands over climate change | Dems demand details on Interior's offshore drilling plans | Trump mocks wind power Dem senators demand offshore drilling info before Bernhardt confirmation hearing Business groups urge Congress to combat LGBTQ discrimination in workplace MORE (D-Ore.) late Sunday blasted President TrumpDonald John TrumpMueller report findings could be a 'good day' for Trump, Dem senator says Trump officials heading to China for trade talks next week Showdown looms over Mueller report MORE’s immigration policies after being blocked from entering an immigration detention facility over the weekend.

Merkley responded to a tweet from Trump last month claiming that Democrats were responsible for his administration’s policy separating immigrant children and parents at the border.

“Mr. President, the only 'horrible law' is YOUR policy. YOU have the power to change it. If you saw what I saw today, you would,” Merkley tweeted Sunday night.

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“Never before has America deliberately inflicted cruelty on children to deter asylum seekers from finding refuge here. Never. And we never should,” he wrote.

Merkley attempted to enter an immigration detention center in Brownsville, Texas, on Sunday, but was unsuccessful.

“I am told that this former Walmart may currently be housing hundreds of refugee children who have been separated from their parents,” the senator wrote in the caption to a video he posted about his attempt.

The senator was blocked from entering the center and said that law enforcement was called on him. 

"The reason why I came is this new policy that the attorney general has in place of families that are waiting for the adjudication of their application for asylum in the U.S., and the children are being separated," Merkley said in the video.

The Trump administration began enforcing a policy earlier this year requiring that immigrant parents and children be separated when they arrive at the U.S. seeking asylum.