First lady spokeswoman: Melania Trump 'hates to see' families separated at border

Arturo Kim
June 18, 2018

Almost 2,000 children were separated from their families over a six-week period in April and May after Mr Sessions announced a new "zero-tolerance" policy that refers all cases of illegal entry for criminal prosecution.

Asked whether the president was willing to end the policy, she said "the president is ready to get meaningful immigration reform across the board".

Friday, the Department of Homeland Security said that almost 2,000 children had been separated from their families. Seven House Democrats visited a detention facility in Elizabeth, New Jersey, and said they were blocked for almost two hours before being allowed to see parents separated from their children.

"It is inconsistent with our American values to separate these children from their parents", Collins said on CBS' "Face the Nation" on Sunday.

"I strongly recommend that we just wait until 2019, right, to address this", he said, while defending the administration's practice of separating parents from children as an example of Mr Trump making good on a key campaign promise.

Despite Melania's caution about contradicting Donald in public, the immigrant children cases have definitely touched her heart and caused her to really think about her role as an immigrant. The senators asked for details on when children are separated from their parents, what the goal of doing so is, and how many children have been separated during the asylum claim process.

The letter cites multiple instances where families seeking asylum were separated, despite the administration's assurances that wasn't the case.

In a separate interview that day, Hurd also described the fact that the Trump administration had yet to provide an adequate explanation about how it was keeping track of undocumented parents and how to reunite them as "nuts".

Meanwhile, disturbing accounts of the trauma wrought by the family-separation policy keep flooding in.

"We should not give up", Collins said.

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Democrats have accused Mr Trump of effectively turning the children into political hostages to secure stricter immigration measures, such as funding for a US-Mexico border wall. None spoke in support of the bill.

Democrats are being forced to get creative in protesting the Trump Administration's new "zero tolerance" stance toward immigration, as they are outnumbered legislatively in the House.

Trump's comments touched off confusion as White House officials swiftly attempted to walk back the remarks, saying he did support the GOP-led efforts, despite suggesting otherwise.

She also echoed an argument made by President Donald Trump that it's in the hands of Congress to make the change. Where Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush declined to prosecute adults with minor children, The New York Times reports that Trump advisors, including Stephen Miller, pushed for Trump to make fewer exceptions.

Family separations had been reported in previous administrations but activists say the numbers then were very small. The president has been anything but conciliatory on the matter.

He added that the administration's keeping teenage boys in temporary shelters at the border was "an indication that the policy is flawed".

And Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham said on CNN on Friday that Trump could end the separate practice.

Appearing on NBC's "Meet the Press", Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.) likened the president's demands to extortion.

She called on Congress to simultaneously address Trump's border wall and the fate of the young immigrants left in limbo after the president rescinded the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

In the first two weeks of the "zero-tolerance" approach, 658 minors - including many babies and toddlers - were separated from the adults that travelled with them, according to U.S. border officials.

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