Merkley, Daines, Hirono, Durbin, Cruz

Executive Session (Bounds Nomination)

Senator Merkley: (3:22 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the abolition of I.C.E.
    • "When that agency better known as I. C. E. is deeply mired in the scandal of separating children from their parents. It is I. C. E. that partnered with border control and health and human services in this diabolical situation. It's I. C. E. that holds the parents in detention camps. It's I. C. E. that has failed to arrange for the knowledge within the system of which parents go with which children. It's I. C. E. that often has prevented lawyers from having access for the individuals to have access to counsel, to be able to even phone their children, to charge them for using the phone."


Senator Daines: (3:25 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the abolition of I.C.E.
    • "In fact, just last year, I. C. E. seized nearly 50 tons of narcotics, nearly a million pounds of heroin, fentanyl, and other deadly drugs that criminals and cartels are smuggling into our country. At a time when America is suffering from a drug epidemic, how many more lives will be lost if I. C. E. agents were not protecting our borders?"


Senator Hirono: (3:27 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the abolition of I.C.E.
    • "Mr. President, this resolution being offered by my colleagues on the other side of the aisle is a partisan political stunt to distract the American people from the crisis created by Donald Trump's zero tolerance policy. Almost 3,000 children are ripped from the arms of their parents and traumatized by the president's cruelty. Yesterday the Senate Judiciary Committee had a closed door briefing with officials from the Department of Justice, Department of Health and Human Service, and Department of Homeland Security. The American people deserve to hear from these officials in public and under oath. All these officials provided at this briefing not under oath was more obstruction and obfuscation."


Senator Durbin: (3:28 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the abolition of I.C.E.
    • "The United States needs security at its borders. There's no question about that, whoever the president may be. The second thing that we agree on is that no one - no one that is dangerous should be allowed to come into this country and anybody who is undocumented and dangerous should be removed. 68 senators agreed on comprehensive immigration reform. Our immigration laws are a mess, an absolute mess. That's why we continue to debate the topic. 68 of us came to the floor here and voted for a bipartisan measure five years ago to fix the whole system. It passed the Senate, died in the House."


Senator Cruz: (3:36 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the abolition of I.C.E.
    • "Mr. President, this is not a reasonable position in a public policy debate upon which reasonable minds might differ. There are many of those in the immigration world. This is not one of them. This is a radical and reckless position, and yet this resolution - by the way, this resolution says not a word about the issue of family separation. We have heard some of the speeches from my Democratic colleagues focused on family separation. I can tell you, every member of this body, Democrat and Republican, agrees that families should not be separated and, indeed, I've introduced legislation to prohibit family separation to ensure that children stay with their parents. The best place for a kid is with his or her mom or dad. But to do so in a way that also respects the rule of law, that doesn't return to the failed policy of catch and release."