Congressman Roger Marshall of Kansas’ Big First District has joined Kansas Senators Jerry Moran and Pat Roberts in voicing opposition to separating and detaining immigrant children apart from their parents at the U.S./Mexico border. Marshall took time between meetings at Washington D.C. to speak with KMAN during Wednesday morning’s edition of “In Focus.”
“The separation of children from their parents is a terrible situation and the situation on the border is really a crisis situation,” Marshall said. “I think to call it a crisis situation is really an understatement.”
Marshall said he spoke with President Trump on the issue Tuesday.
“I think the president has an incredible understanding of the situation down there and he certainly does not like the situation now.”
President Trump signed an executive order halting the separation of families, but said his administration’s “zero tolerance” policy in regards to prosecution will continue. Marshall said the House of Representatives will also be voting on a bill on Thursday to “solve the problem once and for all.
“What’s this bill does is to require the Department of Homeland Security to maintain the care and custody of aliens together with their children while this legal process is pursuing,” he said.
While he doesn’t agree with the policy, Marshall said he understood that the president was dealing with a difficult situation at the border.
“Everybody is trying to get through this border thinking they’re going to get some type of sweetheart deal right now,” he said. “The president is trying to fulfill his duties of protecting this country and securing the border right now and when there’s 50,000 people that you’re trying to apprehend each day, it’s just a huge crisis.”
Marshall also told KMAN that not everyone bringing children to the border is a parent. He said that the Department of Homeland Security told him that many children reaching the border are being brought by terrorists and cartel members.
“What they told me is that the super-majority of the children under the age of five were taken from bad guys,” said Marshall. “People who were [engaging in]human trafficking, that sort of thing.
“Somehow they have a process that if they have a child with them they’re able to circumvent the system a lot.”
KMAN attempted to reach the D.H.S. public affairs office Wednesday to confirm Marshall’s claim, but no one answered and its answering machine stated it was full.