Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, on Monday defended family separation at the border, saying the Trump administration's controversial policy cannot be avoided when people illegally cross the border.
"There's actually a court order that prevents keeping the kids with the parents when you put the parents in jail," Cruz told KERA, the Dallas public radio station. "So, when you see reporters, when you see Democrats, saying don't separate kids from their parents, what they're really saying is don't arrest illegal aliens."
Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the policy in May. It allows the prosecution of adults separately from children when families seek asylum at the border. The children are placed in custody at a branch of the Health and Human Services Department while the adults are processed.
"If people don't want to be separated from their children, they should not bring them with them," Sessions said last week. "We've got to get this message out. You're not given immunity."
President Donald Trump last week slammed Democrats for failing to "get their act together" and said separating families at the border was the "fault of bad legislation passed by the Democrats."
Cruz, though, said Trump was responsible for the separations.
"There is a reason why under the Obama administration that often didn't happen, because when they apprehended people here illegally, they just let them go – and when you let them go, you didn't separate children from parents," Cruz said. "There's no doubt that illegal immigration causes human tragedies and many of those tragedies are visited on kids."
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