Democrats rush to border to decry Trump's family separations

Blanche Robertson
June 18, 2018

"Don't wait until after the election because you are going to lose!" he tweeted.

Trump plans to meet with House Republicans on Tuesday to discuss pending immigration legislation amid an election-season debate over an issue that helped vault the NY real estate mogul into the Oval Office in 2016.

Former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon said President Donald Trump doesn't need to "justify" the policy of separating children from parents who are caught illegally crossing the southern US border because the it is part of the administration's "zero tolerance" approach on illegal immigration.

Mrs Trump's spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham says the first lady believes "we need to be a country that follows all laws", but also one "that governs with heart".

'President Trump could stop this policy with a phone call, ' he said. We need border security. A new Trump administration policy, which went into effect in May, sought to maximize criminal prosecutions of people caught trying to enter the USA illegally. "It is immoral. And it breaks my heart", Mrs Bush wrote.

The reality is that, at the urging of anti-immigration diehard Stephen Miller, Trump put into place a system that his predecessors had rejected as inhumane.

Children would be separated from their parents if the families had been apprehended entering the country illegally, John Kelly, then the Homeland Security Secretary, said in March 2017, "in order to deter more movement along this terribly unsafe network".

President Donald Trump is to meet with House Republicans this week to discuss immigration legislation following public and political backlash over his administration's policy of separating migrant children from their parents at the US-Mexico border.

With the fate of the legislation uncertain, Democrats are trying to focus attention on the separation policy as an example of what they call Trump's extremist approach to immigration.

"This must not be who we are as a nation", said Representative Jerrold Nadler, one of seven members of Congress from NY and New Jersey who met with five detainees inside the facility, including three who said they had young relatives removed from their care after seeking asylum at the border. "And it's on all of us, not just the Trump administration, ' he said on CNN's 'State of the Union" on Sunday.

"What the administration has made a decision to do is to separate children from their parents to try to send a message that if you cross the border with children, your children are going to be ripped away from you", Collins said, on CBS' Face The Nation. "That is traumatizing to children who are innocent victims". But neither bill has much hope of securing enough support in the Republican-controlled Congress, let alone surviving Trump's veto pen.

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The Republican-led House of Representatives may vote this week on two immigration measures - a hardline bill and a compromise measure that would limit legal immigration while also ending family separations.

The polls were starting to suggest that Republicans might not lose big in this November's midterm elections, but they'll turn back the other way if this keeps up - and rightly so.

When the family separation policy was announced last month, White House chief of staff John Kelly told NPR, "They're not bad people".

The debate over the "zero tolerance" policyhas escalated since it emerged that 1,995 minors were separated from 1,940 adults in just six weeks as they tried to enter the United States between official border crossings.

'It's a crime to come across illegally, and children get separated.

Merkley added that "hurting kids to get legislative leverage is unacceptable".

More from the AP: "Trump's repeated, but nonspecific references to a Democratic law appear to involve one enacted in 2008".

"The president is not telling the truth".

The administration wants to send a message, said a Republican critic of the policy, "that if you cross the border with children, your children are going to be ripped away from you".

The International Rescue Committee, a humanitarian aid group, said in response that "a policy of willing cruelty to those people, and using young sons and daughters as pawns, shatters America's strong foundation of humanitarian sensibility and family values".

When parents are taken into federal custody, their children are removed. "It's a disgrace, it's shameful and it's un-American".

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