Illinois attorney general demands end to 'zero-tolerance' policy

ICE officers, July 2011 (Photo: US Air Force)

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan joined with attorney generals from 20 other states Tuesday to demand U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions end the ‘zero-tolerance’ program.

“Our country’s ideals are rooted in empathy, justice and compassion,” Madigan said in a statement released Tuesday. “The federal administration’s complete disdain for women and children betrays American values.”

Since the 'zero-tolerance’ policy was implemented in April, about 2,000 kids have been taken from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border.

President Donald Trump doubled down on the program Tuesday.

He said t's needed to keep our country safe.

"We've got to stop separation of the families, but politically correct or not, we have a country that needs security, that needs safety, that has to be protected," Trump said.

Valeria Cueto, who lives in Springfield, is a first-generation American.

She's also the mother of an 18-month-old.

Cueto said the thought of taking kids from their parents horrifies her.

"To think that these babies are in the care of people who don't know how to care for them, have not been trained to care for them, is heartbreaking,” Cueto said.

Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, said the administration needs to put an end to the program or Congress does.

"All of the Democratic senators, all of us have joined in the Feinstein effort to express our disapproval with this matter. Some Republican senators are starting to speak up."

Durbin said the only way to put a stop to the program is to have more Republicans come forward and speak out against it.

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