Accounts describe children sleeping five to a 40-square-foot room in these centers, their siblings of a different gender also states away. Some mothers say they were told their children were being taken for a bath, but were never returned. Meanwhile, Trump administration officials alternately took credit and sought to distance the administration from the family separation policy.
The separation policy follows Attorney General Jeff Sessions' announcement on April 6 of a "zero-tolerance" immigration policy that includes criminally prosecuting illegal border-crossers, thus separating them from children who under US law can not be held in criminal detention centers. The proposal includes a path to citizenship for an estimated 1.8 million young immigrants in the country illegally, known as "Dreamers", $25 billion for a wall along the U.S. -Mexico border and other security measures, according to the Associated Press. Because of a 1997 court settlement that bars children from being imprisoned with parents, Justice Department officials now say they have no choice but to isolate the children. Susan Collins sounded a similar note, calling the separations "inconsistent" with United States values on CBS' Face the Nation, reports the Hill.
Melania Trump released a statement on June 17 expressing her heartbreak over the desperate crisis created by little children being separated from their parents at the southern border under orders from the Trump administration. He then added, "The Democrats have to change their law - that's their law". Senators Susan Collins and Jeff Flake wrote to White House officials on Saturday seeking more information on the policy.
The DHS official also rejected as "not true" various reports of wrongdoing, including the turning away of some asylum-seekers.
Ms Conway, however, put the onus on Democrats, saying if they were serious about overhauling the system, "they'll come together again and try to close these loopholes and get real immigration reform". You can find contact information for your congresspeople here. "But there's only one way to ensure that is the case: It's for people to stop smuggling children illegally".
Kraft, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics, said colleagues who were alarmed by what was going on invited her to see for herself, so she visited a shelter run by the Office of Refugee Resettlement. His comments reflect how politically poisonous the issue has become, as photographs and news articles circulate about the effects of the practice. "This is not a zero-tolerance policy, this is a zero-humanity policy, and we can't let it go on", said Sen. On a Texas border bridge, parents and children have been sleeping in sweltering heat for several days awaiting their turn.
The statement was issued on Father's Day. "That's the Obama policy, right, from 2014".
Technically, Nielsen's correct: families are separated not at the US-Mexico border, but near the border, at a sorting centre. "Separating babies from their mothers is not the answer and is immoral", he said.
Among those who have professed objections to the policy is the president himself, who despite his tough rhetoric on immigration and his clear directive to show no mercy in enforcing the law, has searched publicly for someone else to blame for dividing families.
Some moderate Republicans have also called on Trump to stop the separations.
Though the policy has been enacted and touted by his own Administration, Trump has avoided publicly owning it and, instead, blamed Democrats for "forcing the breakup of families at the Border with their terrible and cruel legislative agenda".
"As partisan and as divisive as the whole topic of immigration is, we need to start with what's right", she said.