Casey demands immediate reunification of families separated by Trump immigration policy

'Separating children from their parents is a policy that is straight from the pit of hell,' Casey said.

Pat Loeb
June 25, 2018 - 4:48 pm
U.S. Sen. Bob Casey

Pat Loeb/KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Pa. Sen. Bob Casey says the Trump administration's executive order, halting family separations at the border, does not go far enough. He called for immediate reunification for the families and broader changes to prevent child detention in the future. 

"Separating children from their parents is a policy that is straight from the pit of hell," Casey said.

The senator congratulated those who stood up to the family separation policy, prompting a presidential order to reverse course. But he says the order does not eliminate the "zero tolerance" policy that led to the separations.

"That is the root of the evil here," he said.

Casey says, additionally, there's no evidence the policy makes the border more secure, whereas a previous policy that monitored asylum-seekers before their civil hearings was more effective and less expensive — and had the advantage of not traumatizing children. 

Temple pediatrician Cathy Reeves joined him to explain the effects of childhood trauma.

"Especially if it is prolonged, [it] changes a child's physiology, brain function and their psychologic health," she said. 

The Trump administration has said it will reunite families but not until parents' deportation procedures are completed. Reeves says trauma's impact increases the longer it lasts.