A House Committee has voted on Tuesday to subpoena Trump Administration officials to submit necessary documents regarding family separation at the Southern border in a bid for Democrats to satisfy its promise to hold the administration to count.
First to be issued in Congress, the Oversight Committee compels the head of Justice, Homeland Security, Health, and Human Services to submit pertinent documents regarding the children being separated from their families in the Southern border.
The Oversight Committee is headed by Democrat Representative Elijah Cummings of Maryland. He previously promised that he would compel the Trump Administration to produce data and testimonies in a wide array of issues, family separation in the Southern border being his top priority.
“I believe this is a true national emergency,” Cummings 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 Chairman said that the committee has been requesting documents about the problem for seven months.
Idaho Statesman reported that the committee wanted documents about data on children separated, location and facility where they were held, details on the parents, information on the efforts to restore them to their family, and whether or not their parents are deported.
Ahead of the vote, Rep. Jim Jordan, a staunch Republican in the committee, reportedly sent a letter to Cummings telling him that subpoenas are not necessary because the government has already produced information and essential documents asked by the Chairman.
“We should not rush to compel documents from the departments, especially when they have sought to comply with your request voluntarily,” Jordan wrote.
As a response, Cummings said that the data was ‘incomplete.’
“The information we got was not one name, not one number,” Cummings said. “Zilch.”
In the event that the said officials and offices would not comply to the subpoena, the House can vote to hold them in contempt, which will open rooms for a long, costly, court battle.
Around 2,700 children were separated from their parents last year after a ‘zero-tolerance’ policy was implemented by then-Attorney General Jeff Session where he vowed to go after everyone who illegally crossed the border. /apr