Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Lisa Brown, her presumptive challenger in the race for Eastern Washington’s seat in Congress, said President Donald Trump did the right thing when ordering an end to his administration’s policy of separating families of immigrants at the border.
“The congresswoman wants to see this issue fixed,” said Jared Powell, a spokesman for McMorris Rodgers, in a statement. “She’s relieved the administration listened to her requests and has stepped in in the short term and made a policy change, however she believes Congress must codify into law that families should not be separated to provide a permanent fix.”
Brown said she didn’t believe it was House Republicans, but an outcry that crossed party lines, that brought an end to the policy. The Democrat also said the order did nothing for the estimated 2,300 children already separated from their parents.
“It seemed to me that House Republicans were going along with using these kids as a bargaining chip,” she said. “I think overwhelming public pressure, and statements from prominent Republicans like Laura Bush, probably changed the president’s mind.”
McMorris Rodgers will support legislation in a House vote scheduled Thursday on a bill that codifies the new family separation policy, in addition to funding a border wall and addressing other issues, including extensions of a program that defers deportation proceedings against children of parents who entered the country illegally.
Brown said that legislation didn’t address the need to overhaul the visa program for migrant workers and that meaningful immigration overhaul should involve representatives in both parties and chambers.