Pennsylvania politicians on both sides of the political aisle have been taking positions this week on the U.S. Customs and Border Protection policy of separating families crossing the border illegally.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf has joined with his fellow governors and declared that the National Guard shouldn’t be used to help separate families.
“While PA proudly sent troops to TX, FL and Puerto Rico for disaster relief and I believe we need to protect our borders from real threats, I oppose state resources being used to further Pres. Trump’s policy of separating young children from their parents,” Wolf said Tuesday.
Pennsylvania doesn’t have any National Guard members deployed on the southern border at the present time.
Republican Sen. Pat Toomey said on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show Monday that the problem has been “exaggerated significantly.”
“I don’t think he should reverse the fundamental policy, but there are some things we ought to look at doing differently, I think,” Toomey said. “First, I think the instance of the, you know, the heart-wrenching separation of a small child from the mother is, has been, the frequency’s been exaggerated significantly.”
Toomey attempted to climb down from his statement after being challenged by his conservative host.
“This is not my area of expertise, Hugh,” said Toomey. “I’m going to have to drill down into this and address it, because I do agree it’s not a sustainable situation. Maybe this is happening with a higher frequency than I’ve been aware of, and it is certainly, it’s just not the right thing to be doing.”
Democratic Sen. Bob Casey was adamant in his opposition to the policy.
“Separating migrant children from their parents is a policy straight from the pit of hell,” he tweeted Tuesday.
“Hubert Humphrey said ‘the moral test of govt is how it treats those in the dawn of life..those in the twilight..and those in need.’ With your child separation policy we are failing,” Casey added Wednesday, addressing comments by President Trump.
And Republican Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick on Monday said it was up to Congress to stop the separation of families.
“This extreme measure must end,” Fitzpatrick said. “It is an ineffective deterrent against illegal immigration, and children should not have to face traumatic ordeals given the actions of their parents. We have waited over a year and a half for Congress to resolve the crisis on our borders. Inaction is unacceptable.”
His opponent in the congressional race, Democrat Scott Wallace, slammed Fitzpatrick on Tuesday.
“Brian Fitzpatrick’s inaction in the face of this kind of cruelty is exactly why I’m running for Congress. He’s in office, he’s in the party in power and yet he claims he still needs to find out ‘what’s going on down there.’ News flash: It’s bad.”