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Watched by Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen (L) and Vice President Mike Pence, US President Donald Trump signs an executive order on immigration in the Oval Office of the White House on June 20, 2018 in Washington, DC. - US President Donald Trump on Wednesday signed an executive order aimed at putting an end to the controversial separation of migrant families at the border, reversing a harsh practice that had earned international scorn."It's about keeping families together," Trump said at the signing ceremony. "I did not like the sight of families being separated," he added. (Provided via MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

President Trump signs executive order days after many Ohio lawmakers and candidates condemn the 'zero-tolerance' policy

After days of bipartisan criticism from Ohio and around the globe, President Donald Trump signed an executive order ending his administration's policy of detaining immigrant children and separating them from their parents at the southern border.

The executive order said that the prosecution of illegal immigrants at the border will continue but will build and maintain facilities where parents and their children can be kept together while their legal cases are processed in the courts.

The recent worldwide show of opposition to the “zero-tolerance” policy and the newly signed executive orders followed days of outcry after the situation was initially reported by national news outlets. Republican and Democratic politicians from the United States found common ground in rejecting the policy.

Immigration has been debated by members of congress since the Trump administration chose to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in September. Both chambers of congress have been unable to find enough support for any bill on immigration due to disagreements over DACA and Trump's proposed border wall.

Here are what some of Ohio’s politicians had to say about the "zero-tolerance" policy:

Steve Stivers R-Upper Arlington

In a statement, Congressman Steve Stivers said, “as a father, I know firsthand that there is nothing more important than family, and I understand why kids need to be with their parents. That’s why I have publicly come out against separating children from their parents at the border.”

Stivers, who is up for reelection this fall is the U.S. representative for Ohio’s 15th District and the chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, or the NRCC. 

Stivers said that he will be writing a letter to ask the Trump administration to stop separating children from their parents and that he would support other means to stop this from happening.

Missy Medulla, the president of the Ohio University College Republicans said she is not surprised that there is a lot of bipartisan opposition to that policy. She said that it is not an issue that needs to be partisan.

"It's clearly a flawed policy that congress needs to change and everyone that I have talked to agree with that," Pedulla said.

Rick Neal

Rick Neal of Columbus, the Democratic nominee to run against Stivers said that he finds the policy abhorrent and appalling. Neal said that he saw situations like this while working as an international aid worker and believes Stivers could be doing more to fix the situation.

“For the thousands of families that have been torn apart by our government, a letter just doesn’t cut it,” Neal said in an email. “If Representative Stivers won’t do more to help children, I will.”

Bailey Williams, the Ohio University College Democrats president agreed with Neal and said that if Stivers is against the policy he could use his position as chairman of the NRCC to withhold campaign contributions to Republican incumbents who refuse to end the policy. 

“Passionate and caring leaders such as Rick Neal, who has made a career in humanitarian aid in place like Cambodia, the Congo, Afghanistan, and Liberia, would not let this policy go unabated,” Williams said. “It’s time to replace timid and heartless representatives with leaders who care about people.”

Governor John Kasich 

Richard Cordray, Democratic Candidate for Governor 

U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown 

U.S. Senator Rob Portman 



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