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Del Mar supports U.S. Senate bill prohibiting family separation

The Del Mar City Council is on the record in support of a U.S. Senate bill that would prohibit the separation of parents and children at the United States' southern border.

The council voted 4-1, with Councilman Terry Sinnott opposed, to support a resolution proposed by Mayor Dwight Worden and Councilwoman Ellie Haviland, at its meeting on Monday, July 16.

The resolution supports U.S. Senate Bill S. 3036, known as the "Keep Families Together Act," which would prohibit taking children away from parents who have crossed the border to request asylum in the United States. The only exception would be if officials believe the child is in danger of abuse or neglect, or is potentially a victim of human trafficking.

A policy by the Trump Administration to separate parents and children at the border as part of a larger "zero tolerance" initiative regarding illegal border crossings triggered a huge outcry both in the U.S. and internationally when it began several weeks ago. President Donald Trump later issued an executive order calling for families to be kept together in detention at the border, rather than be separated.

Based on government estimates, up to 3,000 children were taken from their parents while the policy was in effect. In a July 13 statement, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said as many as 2,551 children may still be awaiting reunification with their parents.

The resolution states, "The City Council of the City of Del Mar unequivocally condemns the practice of federal or state agents separating undocumented immigrant children from their parents indefinitely and calls upon the Trump administration to immediately cease the practice and to reunite as a matter of the highest priority all separated children with their families."

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