People gather for a vigil lead by the Families Belong Together campaign on Fathers Day outside UcAllen Border Patrol Processing Center calling for the end of family separation on Sunday. (Courtney Sacco/Caller-Times via USA TODAY NETWORK)

Gov. Rauner: Separating Families At The Border 'Not The Moral Thing To Do'

June 19, 2018 - 6:00 pm

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) – Gov. Bruce Rauner said Tuesday’s he’s against the Trump Administration’s policy of separating some parents from their children when they are caught entering the country illegally.

The campaign of his Democratic challenger, J.B. Pritzker, issued a statement demanding Rauner formally retract what it called his commitment to send Illinois National Guard troops to enforce federal immigration policies.

Rauner said he hasn’t given that idea, of sending troops, “any thought whatsoever.”

"What I am calling on is for us to end the policy of separating families. It is bad policy. It is wrong.  It's heartbreaking. It's not the moral thing to do,” Rauner said. “We need to secure our borders and stop illegal immigration, but separating families is not the answer. I'm strongly against it, and I've made my views clear to the federal government."

The governor said his administration has talked to the White House and members of Congress.

President Trump, a Republican, has defended the "zero tolerance" approach to handling illegal immigrants at the border, but the administration's hardline stance has become a public-relations problem for GOP members running for re-election.