Most 2020 Democrats say ending child separation would be their day-one priority for migrant children

Most of the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates say ending child separation would be their top priority for helping migrant children.

When asked by Axios what they’d do for migrant children on Day 1 as president, 19 of the 25 presidential contenders said they would halt the practice of separating families at the U.S.-Mexico border.

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Other answers included closing some migrant detention centers, expanding an Obama-era program that provided alternatives to detention for asylum seekers and granting Central American minors temporary legal residence in the United States.

Immigration has emerged as a top animating issue for Democrats, who were outraged last year at the White House’s now-revoked “zero-tolerance” policy, which ramped up family separations at the border as a deterrent against illegal crossings. Democrats prominently featured policy in the 2018 midterm cycle, when the party won the majority in the House with a 40-seat wave. 

The party is currently focusing its ire on the administration over reports of alleged unsanitary and unsafe conditions at migrant detention centers. 

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Several 2020 candidates have unveiled plans to roll back some of President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE’s hardline initiatives at the border, and some have called for the government to decriminalize illegal border crossings.

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