Westbrook, MAINE - In an appearance on CBS News’ Face the Nation yesterday, Senator Susan Collins spoke out against the Trump Administration’s policy of separating children from their parents at the border, but, when asked whether she backed legislation to end the practice, she refused to support it. Instead, Collins listed several reasons to justify her opposition to the legislation, called the Keep Families Together Act -- except she got the facts wrong.
For example, Collins 1) accuses the bill of being “too broad” and said it would “prevent arrests within 100 miles of the border even if the person has committed a crime or is suspected of terrorist activity; and 2) said she prefers legislation she sponsored earlier this year that failed to address the issue.
But here’s the problem, as an immigration policy specialist with the Center for American Progress notes: 1) there is no such provision in the Keep Families Together Act that would prevent arrests of criminals, and 2) the failed bill she says she supports doesn’t mention anything about families being separated at the border. So to recap:
- There is nothing in the text of the bill that limits arrest authority of anyone.
- There is nothing in the failed bill she proposes as a solution that would stop, or even addresses, the Trump policy of separating families at the border.
The bottom line: Senator Collins says she is opposed to Trump’s family separation policy, but she opposes the very bill that would end the policy, all the while citing inaccurate information to back up her claims. Senator Collins should get the facts right and throw her support behind the Keep Families Together Act, like Congresswoman Chellie Pingree.