Councilmembers Helena Moreno, left, Joseph I. Giarrusso, center, and Jay H. Banks, right, listen during the City Council's Utility Committee meeting at the City Council Chambers in New Orleans, Thursday, June 14, 2018. The meeting included an update on the Entergy paid actors investigation.

The New Orleans City Council called on President Donald Trump’s administration last week to end its “zero tolerance” policy toward people who enter the country illegally, which has led to parents being separated from children at the border.

“I think all of us have seen the images coming from our southern border, and they are really beyond heartbreaking. Images of little children being torn apart from their families,” Councilwoman Helena Moreno said.

“They were not being separated for safety reasons. They were being separated merely to inflict suffering on them. That is so un-American."

The council voted unanimously Thursday for a resolution calling for an end to the policy. All seven council members are Democrats.

Trump had signed an order a day earlier ending the family separation policy, at least temporarily, though it was unclear how soon the thousands of children who already had been separated would be reunited with their families. And because the zero tolerance policy remains in place, the children will now be locked up with their parents, a policy that has continued to generate protests.

Councilman Jay Banks denounced the policy but said it is only one small part of a change in the tenor of the country under Trump. He tied it to other problems like police violence against unarmed black men.

“The really bad part about that is it took that to wake up some other folks that have been totally oblivious to the whole tenor of hatred and bigotry that seems to be overtaking our country,” Banks said. “We have validated, we have legitimized, discounting human lives.

“I see the pendulum swinging further and further away from what I think America should be about."