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Sen. Cotton calls Democratic bill to stop family separations 'Child Trafficking Encouragement Act'

Senator Tom Cotton had harsh words for a Senate Democrat bill on Twitter Tuesday morning, saying the "Keep Families Together Act" is "better called the Child Trafficking Encouragement Act."

Senator Tom Cotton had harsh words for a Senate Democrat bill on Twitter Tuesday morning, saying the "Keep Families Together Act" is "better called the Child Trafficking Encouragement Act."

In two tweets, Cotton said the Democrats "don't oppose family separation" but instead "oppose immigration enforcement" at the border.

"Show up at border with a minor & call him your child, then you get released in the US," Cotton tweeted. "Children will be abducted & sold to drug cartels & slave-traders as a free ticket into US."

The bill, introduced by Sen. Dianne Feinstein and supported by every Senate Democrat, would stop the separation of children from parents within 100 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border.

It would allow separation if the child is a victim of trafficking, the adult is not their parent or legal guardian or if the child is "in danger of abuse or neglect" by the parent or legal guardian. A state court can also determine if the child should be removed from their parents.

The Democrat-supported bill is one of many in Congress that have been introduced after the Trump administration began a "zero tolerance" immigration policy. People who are caught crossing the border illegally will be detained and prosecuted while their children are sent to detention centers under the policy.

Federal officials said that around 2,000 children have been sent to detention centers since early April.

Republican Sen. Ted Cruz said he would introduce a bill that would create shelters so families can stay together while they await trials or deportation. Cruz's bill would hire more judges to speed up processing asylum cases.

"I want to find ways to hold [families] together," Rep. French Hill told us Monday, "keep them together in the right conditions, and see if they're seeking asylum or not."

In an interview with radio host Hugh Hewitt, Cotton suggested that legislators "overturn" the Flores settlement to "allow families to be held at the border, provide a little bit of extra money to the military and DHS for family housing units while those claims are adjudicated."