TDs plan all-party criticism of US immigration policy

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Fianna Fáil leader Micheal Martin

TDs look set to agree an all-party motion condemning the controversial practice in the US of separating the children of illegal immigrants from their parents.

US president Donald Trump, in the face of global criticism, defended the controversial practice of separating children from their parents in detention centres at the US border.

In the Dáil, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said he would convey the Government’s “grave concern” to the acting US Ambassador as soon as possible.

“We know, from dark chapters in our own history, the consequences of separating children from their parents and how that lasts with them for their entire lives, and can damage them for their entire lives,” Mr Varadkar told TDs.

The Taoiseach said that, like many in the house, he loved America.

He said: “I always am minded of the words written on the Statute of Liberty : ‘Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses earning to breathe free.’ It seems to me that America, is more and more, is departing from its own values.

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin said it was a reprehensible policy and called for an all-party motion on the issue to be agreed.

“I think it is very important to give a very clear message to the US government that it is absolutely unacceptable and it should be communicated government-to-government and parliament-to-parliament,” Mr Martin said.

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald said the practice was “unconscionable and mind-boggling”.

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