All 49 members of the Democratic Caucus of the U.S. Senate, including independent Sens. Bernie Sanders (Vt.) and Angus King (Maine), have now signed onto a bill to bar President Trump’s policy of separating families at the border after Sen. Joe Manchin (W.Va.) said on Monday that he will vote for the legislation.
“As a father, grandfather, and Christian, I am wholeheartedly opposed to any policy that allows innocent children to be separated from their parents as they enter our country,” Manchin said in a statement.
“No law requires pulling children from the arms of their parents,” he added.
The legislation, led by Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), would only allow children to be separated from a parent if they are being abused, trafficked or if a court decides “it is in the best interests of the child.”
The Hill added:
The Feinstein bill, however, faces an unlikely, uphill climb in a GOP-controlled Congress, despite growing backlash over the Trump administration’s policies that are resulting in the separation of immigrant families at the border.
No Republican senator has said they will support Feinstein’s bill, which would need 60 votes to clear the Senate.
Manchin said that he’s talking with his Republican colleagues about broader legislation, adding that the U.S. needs to “secure our borders and enforce our immigration laws.”
“I am actively working with my Republican colleagues to find solutions to the issues that are not addressed” in Feinstein’s bill, he said. “I continue to believe that the comprehensive 2013 immigration bill that included 700 miles of fencing, an addition 20,000 border control agents and other measures to secure our border is where we should begin this process.”