El Paso state legislators address asylum-seekers, family separation

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) - El Paso state legislators held a news conference Tuesday to address asylum-seekers, family separation, and inhumane immigration policies.

"We are separating families that are trying to come to this country because of their situation in other places," State Representative Cesar Blanco said.

Blanco, State Representative Joe Moody, State Senator Jose Rodriguez, and other elected officials are demanding a reversal in policy following the Trump administration's tough new stance on asylum-seekers.

"We believe this will result in an increase of crime and deaths and torture in Central American countries where these immigrants are coming from," Rodriguez said.

Before Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a zero-tolerance policy to immigrants wanting to enter the U.S. to seek asylum, immigrants could turn themselves in at a port of entry to have their cases tried.

"That's not happening right here in our community," Moody said.

However, immigrant rights activists say what is happening is children being taken from their families to deter other immigrants from coming.

Local attorney Carlos Spector said he fears for asylum-seekers who have already made it into the country legally.

"Those who have won their cases, many have (them) reopened and reconsidered in light of their new decision," he said.

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