Trump Criticises Democrats for Immigration Impasse, Defends Zero Tolerance Policy

Brittany Mendoza
June 21, 2018

The president had not yet signed the order, but said he would before leaving on a trip to Minnesota Wednesday afternoon.

Family separation has seen a recent uptick due to Attorney General Jeff Sessions' "zero-tolerance" policy for illegal entry at the U.S. -Mexico border.

UPDATE 12:18 p.m. EST: Per Bloomberg, the president will be signing an Executive Order today, and Congress will vote on a bill tomorrow.

"I believe we can do two things at once - we can detain those who are here illegally and enforce the law, and we can simultaneously...keep families together", stated Cruz.

Addressing Mr. Trump, Vice President Mike Pence spoke publicly on the issue for the first time at the meeting, ultimately echoing Mr. Trump's call for Congress to address family separation by a more permanent means. "Go for it! WIN!"

Trump, a frequent viewer of cable television newscasts, had recognised the family separation issue was a growing political problem, White House sources said.

"Parents who entered illegally are by definition criminals", Nielsen said on Tuesday.

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The president and top administration officials say USA laws or court rulings are forcing them to separate families that are caught trying to cross the southern border. He said the Democrats are outraged over family separation, because they want to return to the harmful "catch and release" policy.

Videos of youngsters in cages and an audiotape of wailing children have sparked anger at home from groups ranging from clergy to influential business leaders, as well as condemnation from overseas. He also said there's a consensus among lawmakers that no family should be separated.

One of the US Border Patrolfacilities was opened to US media on Monday (local time) and reporters described how hundreds of children were held in a series of cages created by metal fencing.

Even some of the president's biggest Republican supporters said they disagree with his policy. House Republicans are scheduled to take up an immigration bill tomorrow and are looking to add a rule that would allow them to be held longer but be detained with their parents. "Republicans want security. But I am working on something - it never ends!" he wrote.

The action, according to people familiar with it, wouldn't end the zero tolerance policy, but would aim to keep families together while they are in custody and ask the Department of Defense to help house the detained families.

Trump continues to blame Congress for not changing immigration laws but the law does not require separating children from their parents.

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