140 Members of Congress Call on the Trump Administration
U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) and more than 140 other members of Congress called on the Trump administration to immediately end its “morally reprehensible” policy of charging detained migrant parents who have been separated from their children as much as eight dollars per minute to speak to their child by phone.
“Eight dollars a minute if you want to talk to your child? That is a new low,” Nelson said on the Senate floor Monday, as the Trump administration faces a court-ordered Thursday deadline to reunite families separated at the border. “The list of obstacles that this administration claims that it is facing in order to reunite these families seems to be never ending,” Nelson said. “But I would suggest that the list of obstacles this administration has created for these families – just to see their children again – seems to go on and on. As a country, the United States is better than this.”
Nelson and others sent a letter to the head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement in which they called the administration’s practice “shameless” and “completely unjustified.” The lawmakers called on the head of the agency to immediately implement changes to allow these parents to speak to their kids for free.
“Charging these detained parents to speak with their children is callous, shameless, and completely unjustified given the minimal cost borne by detention facilities in providing this service,” the lawmakers wrote. “We write to urge you to implement immediate, nationwide changes that will permit individuals who have been separated from their children to make phone calls regularly and at no expense to them.”
Here’s a link to watch video of Nelson’s remarks on the Senate floor: https://youtu.be/W_k8p1bb–8
A copy of the lawmakers letter is available here.