Laurie Felker Jones brought photos of her kids, Dean and Jane with her to U.S. Senator John Cornyn's office in downtown Austin on Wednesday. She created a Facebook event called "End Family Separation ATX" and invited quote "moms, parents and decent people" to ask Cornyn to stand up against families being separated at the border.
"This is a federal issue and he can do something about it so we're here to share our perspective as moms," Felker Jones said.
Earlier this month U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions spoke about the Trump administration's new "Zero Tolerance" policy -- saying 100% of illegal southwest border crossings will be referred to the justice department for prosecution. "If you are smuggling a child, then we will prosecute you and that child may be separated from you as required by law," Sessions said.
Hundreds of children have already been separated from their parents crossing the border and the government has admittedly lost track of some of the unaccompanied minors placed with sponsors.
"As a mom of little kids I know what it's like when they're afraid and they need us and as a parent to not know where your kids are...it's not something that I could not do something about," Felker Jones said.
Felker Jones and those joining her in the fight want the policy to end not tomorrow or next week...but now. "I can't imagine being put in that kind of situation where your child is ripped from you and you don't know where they're at and when you'll get them back," said Jennifer Cochran Anderson, a mom from Round Rock.
Anderson says this isn't the America she grew up in. And she's hoping Cornyn will stand up against the separation of families. "Because as much as I say that I came out here because I have a voice, he has a much louder voice and a much larger platform," Anderson said.
Senator Cornyn answered questions about this issue in San Antonio earlier this week.
He says it's rife with opportunity for traffickers and gang recruiters.
"It's disgraceful. We have a bipartisan piece of legislation with Henry Cuellar of Laredo, Texas called the Humane Act which would give people a chance to have their case presented to an immigration judge on a timely basis so they wouldn't have to be separated from their families. If they met the requirements, they could come into the country under the terms of those benefits, but if they didn't they'd be returned to their home country," Cornyn said.
The dozens of moms broke up into smaller groups and went up to chat with Cornyn's staff members.
Felker Jones said the meeting with Cornyn's staff went well. "They said that these are the calls they've been getting since the holiday weekend got out. Our government is representative of us and the doors are open and we need to be sure that they know what's on our minds," she said.