Gov. Phil Murphy on Tuesday signed an executive order prohibiting state resources "from being used to assist the Trump administration’s policy of separating the families of immigrants."

The action follows a statement Murphy issued Monday after the forced separation of migrant children from their parents fueled a weekend of intense criticism of President Donald Trump's immigration policies. 

“The Trump policy of separating families, housing children in cages and preventing members of Congress from even seeing the conditions in which migrant families are housed defies any sense of logic and human decency," Murphy said. "I add my voice to the chorus rightfully condemning the president’s decision to allow such inhumane treatment of children and families. That these detainment practices are being conducted in New Jersey, within mere miles of the Statue of Liberty, is beyond abhorrent."

More than 2,300 migrants were separated from their children at the border from May 5 through June 9, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

State Sen. Jeff Van Drew, D-Cape May, Cumberland, Atlantic, compared the practice to that of a totalitarian state. 

"It's something the great democracy of the U.S. doesn’t do. It's something you find more in a dictatorship. We can do better than this," said Van Drew, who is running for Congress. "We shouldn't have open borders, yet at the same time, we shouldn't have inhumane policies like this. It's unacceptable to separate children from their parents."

Van Drew's November opponent, Republican Seth Grossman, agreed the images on television are heartbreaking, but added it would be a mistake to act on emotion.

"We need a national, adult conversation on why immigration laws are important, and why they must be enforced. For every poor family that comes to our border, there are hundreds of thousands more who want to come," Grossman said. "We need to understand why conditions are so bad in their home countries and what we can do to help make them better."

U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo's Chief of Staff Jason Galanes told The Press of Atlantic City the situation is very fluid and fast-moving.

"That said, if there is a vote solely on a standalone bill on ending the policy of separating of parents and children at the border, Congressman LoBiondo would vote yes," said Galanes of the Republican, whose seat Van Drew and Grossman are running to fill. LoBiondo is not running for re-election.

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Contact: 609-272-7258

Twitter @acpressmaxreil

I’ve written for multiple publications including Levittown Now, Passyunk Post, Philadelphia Neighborhoods,Temple News and JUMP Magazine. I’ve covered arts, entertainment, business, music, sports and local government. Experienced in videography.

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