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 DurbinGrassley to administration: You must consult Congress on refugee cap Overnight Health Care: Senators target surprise medical bills | Group looks to allow Medicaid funds for substance abuse programs | FDA launches anti-vaping campaign for teens Bipartisan group wants to lift Medicaid restriction on substance abuse treatment MORE (D-Ill.) led the letter, signed by 30 of his colleagues, including independent Sens. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersFive takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's fiery first debate Ben & Jerry’s co-founders announce effort to help 7 Dem House challengers Dems look to Gillum, Abrams for pathway to victory in tough states MORE (Vt.) and Angus KingAngus Stanley KingRestoring our national parks would be a bipartisan win for Congress Restore our parks Renaming Senate office building after McCain sparks GOP backlash 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.


“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 SessionsDem warns Trump: 'Obstruction of justice' to fire Rosenstein Donald Trump’s Rosenstein dilemma White House proposes executive order to Trump that would examine tech companies’ practices 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.