Feinstein requests hearing on Trump's border policy

Feinstein requests hearing on Trump's border policy
© Greg Nash

Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinTop Democrats demand security assessment of Trump properties Democrats warm to idea of studying reparations Hillicon Valley: Senators unload on Facebook cryptocurrency plan | Trump vows to 'take a look' at Google's ties to China | Google denies working with China's military | Tech execs on defensive at antitrust hearing | Bill would bar business with Huawei MORE (D-Calif.), the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, is requesting the panel hold a hearing on the Trump administration's handling of immigrant families detained along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Feinstein sent a letter to Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyScandal in Puerto Rico threatens chance at statehood Poll: McConnell is most unpopular senator Democrat: Treasury 'acknowledged the unprecedented process' in Trump tax return rejection MORE (R-Iowa), the chairman of the committee, requesting a public hearing to dig into the separation of children from their parents, the administration's "zero tolerance" policy and the lack of a public plan to reunite families who have been separated.

"Congress has a constitutional obligation to exercise its oversight authority. The Senate Judiciary Committee deserves an opportunity to examine these policies and their impacts on families, children, and the budget. We cannot resolve the crises in our hemisphere by draconian policies that further inflict trauma on children," Feinstein wrote in the letter to Grassley. 

ADVERTISEMENT

 

Democrats have seized on Trump's immigration policies, which resulted in the separation of thousands of children from their parents when they were detained along the U.S.-Mexico border. 

Though Trump signed an executive order last week to pave the way for the families to be kept together, there have been contradicting statements on how the policy is being implemented and some lawmakers believe they still need to pass legislation. 

Feinstein added that the executive order created "new challenges" and that the administration does not appear to have developed a plan to "identify, track and reunite" families that have already been separated. 

"Americans were rightly shocked to hear the cries of babies calling out for their mothers and fathers and I am deeply concerned about the harm this has had on children and families. I also am concerned the Administration has not implemented a comprehensive strategy to reunite the families and instead continues these arbitrary separations," Feinstein wrote. 

Feinstein's letter comes as she is set to meet on Monday with Sens. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinDemocrats pledge to fight Trump detention policy during trip to border Dems open to killing filibuster in next Congress Democrats warm to idea of studying reparations MORE (D-Ill.), Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisRepublicans scramble to contain Trump fallout McConnell says Trump is not a racist, but calls for better rhetoric GOP senator: 'Outrageous' to say Trump's tweets about Democratic congresswomen are racist MORE (R-N.C.) and Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzTed Cruz: 'Fox News went all in for Trump' 2 Republican senators introduce resolution to label antifa as domestic terrorists Ted Cruz: Trump's chances of winning reelection are '50-50' MORE (R-Texas) as they try to hash out an agreement on narrow legislation to address families detained along the border. 

Democrats have previously requested a hearing on Trump's "zero tolerance" policy but Grassley appeared to shoot down that request with a letter to Feinstein and other Democrats on the committee last week.

"The simplest and easiest way to address this crisis is to repeal the Flores decision so that family units can remain in family residential centers and receive adequate care pending the outcome of their criminal or civil cases. This is an easy, common-sense solution that doesn’t require a hearing," Grassley wrote.