Kasich: Treatment of children at border a 'stain' on US

Kasich: Treatment of children at border a 'stain' on US
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Former Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) slammed the Trump administration late Friday over its detainment of child migrants near the southern border, calling it "an unspeakable disgrace and a stain on this nation."

“Watching and reading reports about the gross neglect and mistreatment we're inflicting on kids is appalling,” Kasich wrote in a commentary for CNN. “I ask myself, ‘Can this be America? Is this the way we in this country treat any human being, let alone the youngest, most fragile and most innocent among us?’"

“But it's true,” he added. “What we're seeing now is undeniably un-American, inhumane and shameful.”

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Kasich, a frequent Trump critic, voiced concern about the migrant family separations occurring at the U.S.-Mexico border, writing that whether the separations are taking place because of “cruel intent, scandalous neglect or a lack of funding,” he “care[s] more about how we can help these children.”

“This business of crowding children into jail-like detention centers, while denying them adequate nutrition, sanitation and medical care has to stop,” Kasich wrote. “No debate, no excuses, no finger-pointing. Just stop!”

Kasich stressed a need for “pushing our current fixation on election debates, town halls and other political concerns to one side — and doing it right now — so we can take care of these children first.”

He added: “Do we need secure borders? Of course. Do we need a total overhaul of our system of legal immigration? Absolutely. Republicans and Democrats should work together to pass immigration reform that meets our economic and security needs while also creating jobs for Americans. But put the needs of these children first.”

The Trump administration has faced renewed scrutiny over its hardline immigration policies and poor conditions at migrant detention centers. The administration's new “metering” policy has significantly limited the number of migrants who can request asylum each day at legal ports of entry, creating a backlog of individuals forced to wait on the Mexican side of the southern border.

Democrats have pressed for policies that would make it easier for migrants from Central America to apply for asylum, while Trump has tightened existing rules, arguing that they are necessary to stem the flow of migrants heading toward the U.S.

Congress on Thursday passed a $4.6 billion bill that gives Trump new border funding and includes nearly $3 billion in humanitarian aid, which the administration says would be used to add shelters and care for unaccompanied minors, as well as for processing arrivals.