Critics on LI skeptical of Trump’s change of heart

Posted: Updated:

President Donald Trump’s change of heart on his immigration policy that resulted in families being separated after illegal border crossings is being met by varying reactions on Long Island.

The images of young children in tears, housed in metal cages at border facilities set off national and international outcry.

Joan Bernstein, of Jericho, said that she was “thrilled” the president reversed the decision.

“Very, very saddening to see children separated from their parents,” said Bernstein.

Others said it's too little, too late.

“I'll believe it when I see it. Very unhappy about it. Hope he does end it. It's a terrible thing to do. He should be ashamed of himself,” said Lois Danis, of Woodbury.

Walter Barrientos, an immigrant advocate, said the president's executive order will result in the creation of modern day internment camps.

“We do not believe this president one bit,” said Barrientos. “This executive order does not resolve the issue. It actually creates more concern for us because they are talking about potentially putting these families at military bases.”

In a statement, Republican Rep. Peter King applauded the president's move.

“I had called on the president earlier to suspend or end the family separation policy. I support his executive order and hope that Congress will follow this up with more comprehensive legislation," his statement said.

Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin said in a statement in part, “It’s not good policy to separate children at our border from their parents and release them into the United States as [unaccompanied alien children]. It’s also not good policy to immediately release families who enter our country illegally into our communities.”

The statement ends with advice for potential migrants.

“In the meantime, my advice for anyone who doesn’t want to be detained for entering into the United States illegally is to not enter the United States illegally.”

President Trump said both the first lady and his daughter Ivanka Trump urged him to keep families together.

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