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Washington—Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today requested Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) hold an oversight hearing on the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance and family separation policies, as well as its failure to develop a plan to reunite families as quickly as possible.

“Americans were rightly shocked to hear the cries of babies calling out for their mothers and fathers and I am deeply concerned about the harm this has had on children and families. I also am concerned the Administration has not implemented a comprehensive strategy to reunite the families and instead continues these arbitrary separations. The Administration took the first step by issuing an Executive Order last week, however, it appears that Order did not rectify this situation and instead created new challenges. In addition, it appears that a comprehensive plan to identify, track, and reunite families has not been developed,” Feinstein wrote.

Full text of the letter follows:

June 25, 2018

The Honorable Charles E. Grassley

Chairman

Committee on the Judiciary

United States Senate

224 Dirksen Senate Office Building

Washington, DC 20510

Dear Chairman Grassley,

I write to respectfully request that the Senate Judiciary Committee hold an oversight hearing on three of the most recent Trump Administration policies, including, the systematic separation of children from their parents, the development and implementation of the Department of Justice’s ‘zero tolerance’ policy on asylum seekers, and the failure of the Administration to physically reunite these families who were unnecessarily separated.

Americans were rightly shocked to hear the cries of babies calling out for their mothers and fathers and I am deeply concerned about the harm this has had on children and families. I also am concerned the Administration has not implemented a comprehensive strategy to reunite the families and instead continues these arbitrary separations. The Administration took the first step by issuing an Executive Order last week, however, it appears that Order did not rectify this situation and instead created new challenges. In addition, it appears that a comprehensive plan to identify, track, and reunite families has not been developed.

Congress has a constitutional obligation to exercise its oversight authority. The Senate Judiciary Committee deserves an opportunity to examine these policies and their impacts on families, children, and the budget. We cannot resolve the crises in our hemisphere by draconian policies that further inflict trauma on children. I respectfully ask that you schedule a Committee hearing on this important matter as soon as possible. Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Dianne Feinstein

United States Senator

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