Published: Tue, June 19, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Top Homeland Security Republican Demands End To Family Separations

Top Homeland Security Republican Demands End To Family Separations

"And it breaks my heart".

While Nielsen is technically correct - there's no statute explicitly calling for families to be forcibly separated - it has been the practical and direct outcome of this zero-tolerance policy.

As the outcry over the response from the Trump Administration defending the policy has reached full throat, a completely unrelated background briefing at the U.S. State Department from Monday is circulating. Senators Susan Collins and Jeff Flake wrote to White House officials on Saturday seeking more information on the policy.

"In the last three months we've seen illegal immigration on our southern border exceed 50,000 people each month, multiples over each month previous year".

How did the Obama administration handle this issue?

President Donald Trump's administration has faced criticism over its practice of separating immigrant children from their families when they are apprehended for crossing the border illegally.

The guide sheet adds, "DHS and HHS can take steps to facilitate reunification with your child (ren)". She goes right at the administration's critics: "We will not apologize for the job we do, or the job law enforcement does, or the job the American people expect us to do".

But the policy has drawn condemnation from medical professionals, religious leaders and immigration activists, who warn that some children could suffer lasting psychological trauma.

Earlier, first lady Melania Trump also weighed in through her communications director Stephanie Grisham.

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Nielsen denied that the policy change was meant to pressure Congress.

Calling the United States a "compassionate country", she said Monday that the nation historically welcomed millions of refugees and told asylum-seekers to find a port of entry.

The lawmakers in Elizabeth waited about 90 minutes to gain access to the detention facility, which is operated for the USA government by a private contractor. At one point, NY magazine's Olivia Nuzzi played audio, published by ProPublica earlier, that recorded border patrol agents mocking weeping child migrants separated by their parents. Nielsen says agents are not acting cruelly, but are enforcing the laws passed by Congress. In other instances, pediatricians and child advocates have reported seeing toddlers crying inconsolably for their mothers at shelters where staff are prohibited from physically comforting them. "But President Trump is leaning into that pretty hard".

"Rather than taking responsibility for their actions, and some of them are, (like) the attorney general and the secretary of homeland security, . the president says, 'it's not my fault, I didn't do it, '" Pelosi continued.

The skirmish is an escalation of the dispute embroiling the Trump administration and members of Congress, including some Republicans, over its policy causing the separation of thousands of migrant families crossing the border in recent months.

Traffickers and others can pose as families in order to game the system, Nielsen said, and they have become good at it.

"There's different elements of the government that don't understand what's really going on".

"Needlessly ripping kids, toddlers, babies away from their parents is inhumane, barbaric and unconstitutional".

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