Ohio Republican Senator Rob Portman Opposes Trump's Immigration Policy, But Has Yet to Support the 'Keep Families Together' Act

Gage Skidmore/FlickrCC

In case you haven't been watching the news or following any social media timelines, the Trump administration is currently separating children from their families at the border and keeping them in literal cages.

As part of Trump's "zero tolerance" immigration policy, nearly 2,000 children have been taken from their parents since Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the policy, which directs Homeland Security officials to refer all cases of illegal entry into the United States for prosecution.

Yes, it is true that child separation policies have been around long since Trump took office, but it is the Trump administration that has justified separating families at the border.

To combat this monstrous policy, California Sen. Dianne Feinstein introduced the "Keep Families Together Act." Since its introduction, every Democratic senator has signed on to promote the legislation, but not a single Republican has done so, including Ohio Sen. Rob Portman.

Portman took to Twitter to release his official statement:

It's nice that Portman seems to care so much about the immigrants in this country, especially after the ICE raids in Sandusky that put 114 immigrants behind bars and his refusal to answer any questions about the topic.

If his Twitter is to be believed, at least Portman recognizes children are at risk of trafficking, abuse and getting lost in the immigration system if they are separated from their families as a political bargaining chip so Trump can get Democrats to vote for his border wall. But if Portman cares so much about children (as he claims), why isn't he signing on to the Keep Families Together Act?

"Congress should act quickly on a legislative solution to fix this problem," Portman tweets, and yet he is still one of the exclusively Republican list of 51 senators that have not signed on board with Keep Families Together Act.

Every Senate Democrat has now become a co-sponsor of the legislation which would prohibit children from being separated from their parents within 100 miles of the U.S. border except for instances of abuse, neglect or other specific circumstances.

Portman's tweet makes it sound like he's looking to write legislation of his own, joining the ranks of Texas Sens. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn who have already announced they're writing a counterpiece of legislation

Is it that difficult for Republicans to get behind a Democrat-introduced piece of legislature, or are they really willing to let children sleep in cages where babies have their diapers changed by other children so Republicans can take their sweet time throwing together their own version of legislation?

To quote Trump himself, "We could have an immigration bill.  We could have — child separation — we’re stuck with these horrible laws.  They’re horrible laws.  What’s happening is so sad — is so sad.  And it can be taken care of quickly, beautifully, and we’ll have safety."

You're right. We do have that legislation. It's called the Keep Families Together Act and all it takes to end this madness is for Republicans like Rob Portman to get on board.

Senator Portman, it's time to put your voting power where your Twitter mouth is.

If you'd like to contact Senator Portman directly, you can email him by clicking here.

He also has multiple phone lines and addresses that can be contacted below:

Washington, D.C. Office
448 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: 202-224-3353

Columbus Office
37 West Broad Street
Room 300
Columbus, OH 43215
Phone: 614-469-6774
Toll-Free: 1-800-205-6446 (OHIO)

Cincinnati Office
312 Walnut Street
Room 3425
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
Phone: 513-684-3265

Cleveland Office
1240 East 9th Street
Room 3061
Cleveland, OH 44199
Phone: 216-522-7095

Toledo Office
420 Madison Avenue
Room 1210
Toledo, OH 43604
Phone: 419-259-3895

About The Author

Scroll to read more Cleveland News articles
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.


Join Cleveland Scene Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.