Senators Portman and Brown criticize Trump's 'zero tolerance' policy

In this photo provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, people who've been taken into custody related to cases of illegal entry into the United States, sit in one of the cages at a facility in McAllen, Texas, Sunday, June 17, 2018. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Rio Grande Valley Sector via AP)

WASHINGTON D.C. (WKEF/WRGT) - Ohio Senator Rob Portman (R) is calling on the Trump administration to "change course immediately" and use its executive authority to stop separating families at the border.

Portman issued a statement Tuesday regarding the administration's controversial 'zero tolerance policy.' Portman calls its "counter to our values" and said America can have border security without separating families. In his statement, Portman says the Department of Homeland Security and the Health and Human Services are not prepared to deal with more unaccompanied minors and goes on to say children are at risk. "This policy is taking children from the love and care that parents provide and putting them at risk of trafficking, abuse, and getting lost in the immigration system."

The policy, which has come under fire by Democrats, many Republicans and human rights activists has separated nearly 2,000 children from their parents, according to DHS.

Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown (D) has also spoken out against the policy, calling it inhumane.

Congressman Mike Turner (R) appeared Tuesday on CNN to talk about immigration and while he stayed away from criticizing the controversial policy, Turner says lawmakers need to work toward fixing immigration. Turner says Speaker Ryan plans to introduce a bill that would deal with and end the separations.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the administration's 'zero tolerance policy' in April. Under the policy, all cases of people entering the U.S. illegally will be criminally prosecuted. As a result of the new policy, Homeland Security stated stepping up its referrals in early May.

On Tuesday, President Trump said Congress needed to give him authority to keep families together.

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