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WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) today joined several of his Senate colleagues to the Keep Families Together and Enforce the Law Act. This legislation would keep families together while ensuring the integrity of our nation’s immigration laws. Additionally, this legislation requires that children and their parents remain together during their legal proceedings.

“The act of forcibly separating children from their parents is a clear sign of how broken our immigration system is and contradicts our values as Americans,” said Sen. Moran. “Our priority must be the welfare of these children. These separations must end and I urge my colleagues to support this legislation and promptly fix this circumstance.”

The Keep Families Together and Enforce the Law Act includes provisions to ensure the humane and fair treatment of migrant children and families by setting mandatory standards of care for family residential centers. Families will be ensured access to suitable living accommodations, food and water, medical assistance and any other service necessary for their care. 

In addition to keeping children and their parents together, the legislation also keeps children safe by requiring children to be removed from an individual who presents a clear and present danger to the health and safety of the child, including: situations in which DHS cannot verify an individual is the parent of the child; a parent with a violent history of committing aggravated felonies; a child who is a victim of sexual or domestic abuse; or a child who is a victim of trafficking.

To prioritize the timely adjudication of family cases, the legislation authorizes 225 new immigration judges and requires the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Attorney General to prioritize resolving the cases of children and families in family residential centers.

Unlike other proposals – which incentivize illegal immigration by codifying “catch and release” policies into law – this legislation keeps families together while also ensuring the integrity of our immigration laws.

Other original co-sponsors include Senators Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Dean Heller (R-Nev.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), John Thune (R-S.D.), Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Mitch McConnell (R-Kent.).