Vice President Mike Pence visited central New York Tuesday and said Congress is working on immigration reform this week that will address issues including the separation of children and their families crossing the Southern border. Pence said he and President Donald Trump do not want children taken away from their parents and want a solution to the problem.
Critics of the Trump administration say it could stop separating families anytime. Pence, while addressing steel workers at Nucor Steel in Auburn said the current law only allows the administration two options.
“We could either, release all illegal immigrant families, including minors, who show up at our Southern border, or we could prosecute adults for the federal crime of illegal entry," Pence said. "Neither of these options solve the problem that we face today. It is tragic that these failed immigration policies have created this incentive for vulnerable families, and literally put vulnerable adults and children in danger. This is simply unacceptable."
After attending a fundraiser for Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) earlier in Syracuse, Pence praised Katko and Congress for working on a bill that would give immigration officials the legal authority to detain and remove families together. Katko said immigration reform would also include border security.
“What’s going on at the border is tragic but it’s symptomatic of a larger problem," Katko said. "We got to secure the border."
Congress is also working to find a permanent resolution for those brought into the country illegally as children. Katko said the House could vote on legislation by Thursday.