Steve Knight does not make it a habit of injecting himself into a national debate. But the subject of separating children from their parents who illegally crossed the border has caused him to weigh in.
Knight on Thursday introduced House Resolution 6173, which he called End Family Separation at the Border. Unlike other pieces of immigration-related legislation that he cast votes about this week, his bill is short.
In four pages, the Knight bill says alien children are to remain with their parents, even if the parents are detained and if the only charge is illegally crossing the border. Other charges such as terrorism or child abuse would warrant separation, Knight spokesperson Chris Jusuf said.
Additionally, the bill says children who are detained with adults who aren’t their parents or legal guardians must be released only to their parents or legal guardians, and the bill authorizes $50 million to build facilities to house families together.
“I think we can do better,” Knight said. “We can do better with families. Just pass my bill.”
Knight refused to let any other lawmaker add anything to his bill – and some asked – repeating his belief that Congress would get more done if each bill dealt with just one subject.
“If we put DACA up there, let’s have a vote. If we put border security up there, let’s have a vote,” he said. “People might think we’re OK instead of giving us a 13-percent (approval rating).”