U.S. Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick Says Migrant Families Separated at the Border Should be Reunited "Immediately" After Visit to Texas Detention Center - NBC 10 Philadelphia
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U.S. Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick Says Migrant Families Separated at the Border Should be Reunited "Immediately" After Visit to Texas Detention Center

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    Local Republican Lawmaker Returns From Trip to Border

    U.S. Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick talks about his trip to the southern border and visit of a detention center holding migrant children separated from their parents.

    (Published Sunday, June 24, 2018)

    A Republican Congressman who visited a Texas detention center this weekend said children separated from their families should be reunited "immediately."

    Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Bucks County) visited the Tornillo detention center near El Paso on Saturday along with a group of members of Congress that included both Republicans and Democrats.

    Fitzpatrick said the process of reuniting children with their families has begun, but is hampered by a system that involves a string of entities including the Department of Health and Human Services, Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), among others.

    "There's so many different components and there's a disfunction in the connectivity between them," Fitzpatrick said in an interview with NBC10 on Sunday.

    Addressing that process should be part of a comprehensive immigration reform bill, he said.

    Fitzpatrick, who said members on the visit spoke with some of the children on site using a fellow congressman as a translator and even picked up phones to make sure they worked, said he is now requesting data from HHS on separations and reunification and is willing to return to Texas inside a week if necessary.

    "They have tents set up, they have phones available to call their family, but really that's not a place they should be," he said. "This is a place where they need to be taken care of until we fix the problem that was created by this policy of separation that was a terrible policy. I think people realize that now we need to fix that."