Debate continues in Houston over immigration policy

HOUSTON – Newly released images of the South Texas facility where Mexican families are being held captive after trying to cross over into the United States has added to the Trump Administration’s controversial immigration policy.

The video shows women, men and children being separated by cages. U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee of Houston toured the Casa Padre facility Monday. The democrat called it a humanitarian crisis at the U.S./Mexico border.

“I pray for the small children housed at the Casa Padre facility I visited today, and hope that they soon may enjoy the full bounty of this glorious country,” said Rep. Jackson Lee.

A border patrol sector chief said the decision on whether to prosecute those breaking the “zero tolerance” immigration policy is based on individual situations.

“Every case is unique, so we consider. (We) Take into consideration the logistics that we have available to us,” said M. Padilla, the border patrol sector chief. “So we consider a lot of things as we build up to 100 percent prosecution.”

Padilla said all children will be temporarily separated from any adult facing criminal charges.

In the nation’s capitol, U.S. Sen. John Cornyn said while he is in favor of the immigration policy he does not think families should be separated.

"We have to keep family members together and prevent unnecessary hardship, stress and outrage,” the Republican said. “The good news is, we have it within our power to find a better way because parents who are waiting court proceedings shouldn't have to do so separated from their children.”

Rep. Pete Olson, who is a Republican, said, "No one in Congress, Republican or Democrat, wants children separated from their parents. I’m confident that if Washington turns down the political rhetoric and both parties are willing to work together, we can find a solution that keeps families together as we determine how to move forward."

In Houston, the imagery of children being separated from their parents has inspired a group of teachers to take action.

“We work with a large immigrant population, so we look on the news and we see these kids and we love them because they’re just like our kids that we teach in our schools,” said Simone Kern, a teacher.

Kern plans to meet with dozens of other educators Tuesday to discuss ways they can offer help.

“It may take the form of a protest, or a fundraiser or donation drive, or maybe a little bit of all three,” she said.