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Advocacy groups want Gov. Bryant to back off the border

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Advocacy groups want Gov. Bryant to back off the border
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Immigration

An advocacy group in Mississippi is asking the governor to draw his attention to issues in-state and not at the border. MPB's Ashley Norwood reports.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Mississippi is part of a coalition that is fighting against the separation and detention of migrant families at the US-Mexico border.

Zakiya Summers is with the ACLU.

"It's important for us to advocate and support the immigrant community because they are part of the community," said Summers.

Some 2,000 migrant children and parents have been separated as part of a zero-tolerance immigration policy. It charges those entering the country illegally with federal crimes. The children of those families are kept in shelters with no clear procedure for reuniting.

Governor Phil Bryant had ordered Mississippi National Guard troops to the border to assist in the immigration enforcement.

ACLU's Summers says there are other issues to focus on.

"We have more issues happening within our own state lines that we should be putting our attention to instead of using taxpayer dollars and sending resources to the border in a fight that's not even our own," said Summers.

Bryant defended the government's policy at an event last week.

"So these parents that brought these children to the border realize they were violating the law. They were putting those children in harms way. So if I'm a parent... am I going to put that child in harms way and abuse that child, neglect that child? If you do that in the state of Mississippi we're probably going to take that child away from you," said Bryant.

The ACLU of Mississippi says Bryant should recall the state's troops from the border. Bryant says he will not.

Ashley Norwood, MPB News.