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'This Has To Stop': Rep. Kennedy Joins Protests Over Child Separation

BOSTON (CBS) - Congressman Joe Kennedy joined a protest on the Texas/Mexico border Sunday to draw attention to a tent-like shelter to house immigrant children separated from their parents.

While he didn't get all the answers he needed, he knows one thing for sure.

"This has to stop. Period," he said.

Kennedy wanted to see what was going on for himself.

"We couldn't even get all that close to it," Kennedy said. "There were border patrol and law enforcement authorities who basically let us cross the gate and do a U-turn and wouldn't let us get close."

Congressman Kennedy
Congressman Kennedy speaking out against child separation at the US-Mexico border. (WBZ-TV)

Kennedy has called the practice of family separation "monstrous" and says the president is ignoring basic decency and dignity.

"He failed to see the humanity in a two year old baby that is fleeing violence, persecution and instability and a parent that says I want a better life for their child," he said.

The congressman says he doesn't doubt that those tasked with taking care of the children are doing the best they can.

"One individual said we care for these kids as if they are our own. I appreciate that but they aren't your kids and there are only a certain amount of coloring books to try to make up that you can give before a two year old just needs to be with her mom," he said.

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker directed the National Guard not to send any assets or personnel to the Southwest border because of, "the inhumane treatment of children."

Detention Facility
A tour of a detention facility. (WBZ-TV)

Kennedy stands by that decision and says he has to keep the pressure on.

"The people deserve to know, the American public deserves to know how their government is treating a five-year-old, a 2-year-old a 4-or-5-month-old baby. We don't have to do this and we are," he said.

Kennedy can agree the immigration system is flawed but hopes the president fixes what's happening now, first.


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