White House: We won't stop separating migrant kids from parents

Erika Holt
June 19, 2018

"If we close the loopholes, we can keep the families together", she said, adding that the administration has repeatedly called on Congress to do so. "No more free passes, no more get out of jail free cards".

Rep. Joe Kennedy, who traveled to the United States-Mexico border in Texas on Sunday and participated in a protest at a facility where families were being forcibly separated, said Nielsen's statement didn't align with what he heard from local officials.

In an opinion piece in the Washington Post, former first lady Laura Bush, wife of the previous Republican president, George W. Bush, said she lives in a border state and appreciates the need to enforce and protect the US borders. This tweet comes in the midst of nationwide backlash against the separation of immigrant families and the virtual imprisonment of the children in special detention centers.

Trump has blamed "bad laws that the Democrats gave us" for the family separations and has said the administration has no choice.

"If you are smuggling a child, then we will prosecute you and that child will be separated from you as required by law", Sessions said in May. "The Democrats have to change their law".

"The Attorney General directed United States Attorneys on the Southwest Border to prosecute all amenable adults who illegally enter the country, including those accompanied by their children, for 8 U.S.C. § 1325 (a), illegal entry".

The letter is the latest but far from the only plea from congressional Republicans for President Trump and his administration to end this policy, which by the Department of Homeland Security's own numbers say have separated 2,000 families in recent weeks. In fact, the administration's stricter border enforcement - known as the "zero tolerance" policy - has resulted in splitting up children and their parents.

Over the weekend, Lee and Jeffries were among a group of Democratic legislators who marched to immigrant processing and detention facilities across the country in protest of the new policy.

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"I'm looking at both of them", Trump told Fox News.

The DHS official also rejected as "not true" various reports of wrongdoing, including the turning away of some asylum-seekers. If you want to know where the separation policy came from and why Nielsen is suddenly the face of it, that's why.

The compromise House Republican bill reportedly would provide $25 billion for a border wall, and detail a process giving young undocumented immigrants permanent residency and a pathway to citizenship.

Turlock Rep. Jeff Denham, another leading backer of the House bill, expressed hope in a statement to the Washington Post on Friday that it would fix the family separation crisis.

"If you cross the border unlawfully. we will prosecute you", Sessions said at the time.

How did the Obama administration handle this issue?

And yet, she kicked off the presser citing stats: "Since this time previous year, there has been a 325% increase in unaccompanied alien children and a 435% increase in family units entering the country illegally". We give them education. The legislation wouldn't explicitly forbid the incarceration of children alongside their parents.

"As I have said many times before, if you are seeking asylum for your family, there is no reason to break the law and illegally cross between ports of entry", she tweeted.

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