Dems call for investigation into DOJ's role in family separation policy

Dems call for investigation into DOJ's role in family separation policy
© Getty Images

Senate Democrats are calling on Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General Michael Horowitz to investigate the agency’s role in separating families at the southern border.

Senate Democratic Whip Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinTrump praises law enforcement response to shooting at Illinois business Five dead in shooting at manufacturing plant in Aurora, Illinois ‘Contingency’ spending in 3B budget deal comes under fire MORE (D-Ill.) led the letter, signed by 30 of his colleagues, including independent Sens. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersSanders expected to announce exploratory committee next week Bernie Sanders records announcement video ahead of possible 2020 bid Bill Maher to Dems: ‘Let’s not eat our own’ in 2020 MORE (Vt.) and Angus KingAngus Stanley KingDrama hits Senate Intel panel’s Russia inquiry Warner, Burr split on committee findings on collusion Overnight Defense: Top general wasn't consulted on Syria withdrawal | Senate passes bill breaking with Trump on Syria | What to watch for in State of the Union | US, South Korea reach deal on troop costs MORE (Maine), and sent to Horowitz on Thursday.

“The Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General and the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General are conducting reviews of the zero-tolerance policy, and the Department of Justice should also face scrutiny for its integral role in initiating and executing the zero-tolerance policy,” the letter says.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Therefore we urge you to immediately launch an investigation of the Department’s role in this humanitarian crisis.”

The senators expressed concern about Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsThe Hill's Morning Report — Presented by the American Academy of HIV Medicine — Trump, Congress prepare for new border wall fight The Memo: Trump and McCabe go to war McCabe book: Sessions once said FBI was better off when it 'only hired Irishmen' MORE' call for U.S. Attorney’s offices to immediately adopt the policy and request additional resources if needed.

“The American people deserve an accounting of these resources and an examination of the public-safety and budgetary impact of the zero-tolerance policy,” they said. “For example, resources were reportedly diverted from federal drug-smuggling cases to handle immigration charges under the zero-tolerance policy.”

The letter comes the day of a court-ordered deadline for the administration to reunite all eligible families. A federal district court judge said earlier this week that the administration is on track to meet the deadline.