House Oversight Committee Issues Subpoenas to Trump Justice, Homeland Security and Health & Human Services Departments Related to Family Separation Program

It’s beginning.

The House Oversight Committee has voted to issue subpoenas to the Departments of Justice, Homeland Security, and Health and Human Services in a move to hold the Trump administration accountable for the human suffering caused by its “zero tolerance” family separations policy at the U.S.-Mexico border.

This represents the first subpoenas of the Trump administration by the new Congress since Democrats took over.

The committee is demanding information related to “the children separated, location and facilities where they were held, details on their parents, information on efforts to restore children to their parents and whether parents were deported,” according to a report from NBC News.

“I believe this is a true national emergency,” House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-MD) said. “When our own government rips children from the arms of their mothers and fathers with no plans to reunite them — that is government-sponsored child abuse.”

The House Oversight Committee has sought information related to the family separations policy for the last seven months, but the decision to subpoena the Trump administration received a light rebuke from Representative Jim Jordan (R-OH), the committee’s ranking Republican, who argued in a letter to Cummings that the committee “should not rush to compel documents from the departments, especially when they have sought to comply with your request voluntarily.”

The move was nonetheless cheered on by many who believe the administration should be held accountable for what has been described as a humanitarian crisis at our nation’s southern border.

Earlier this month, Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) decried the family separations policy as “evil.”

Merkley was responding to an update from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) that the Trump administration did not dispute a report that there “may have been thousands more separated kids” than originally reported.

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