Donald Trump, nervous Republicans scramble for legislative fix to family separation crisis

Elias Hubbard
June 22, 2018

"I did not like the sight of families being separated", he said, at the signing ceremony but added the administration would continue its "zero tolerance policy" of criminally prosecuting anyone who crosses the border illegally.

Meanwhile Trump has been accused of using the children as political pawns to force Democrats to sign tougher immigration laws. "Hopefully people will get the message and not break across the border unlawfully". However Democrats argue that no congressional action is required and the president can simply reverse his own policy.

Doctors and lawyers who have visited the shelters in South Texas' Rio Grande Valley said the facilities were fine, clean and safe, but the children, who have no idea where their parents are, were hysterical, crying and acting out.

The latest talk around the newest proposed immigration bills has sparked debates about what the government should do to protect both families and border policies.

U.S. President Donald Trump, accompanied by Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen (L) and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence (R), displays an executive order he signed that will end the practice of separating family members who are apprehended while illegally entering the United States on June 20, 2018 in Washington, DC.

"We have to get the Democrats to go ahead and work with us because as a result of Democrat-supported loopholes in our federal laws, most illegal immigrant families and minors from Central America who arrive unlawfully at the border can not be detained together or removed together - only released", he said.

The senior aide also said that the public comments by senior Republicans like Sen.

Trump's reversal also creates a series of new headaches for the administration, as it wrestles with where to house families that are detained together, possibly for long periods, and how to reunite families that already have been separated. Neither, though, did it require parents to be kept in detention, apart from their children.

British Prime Minister Theresa May said she found images of children being detained in cages "deeply disturbing" and called the separation policy "wrong". "But we have to maintain toughness, or our country will be overrun by people, by all of the things that we don't stand for", Trump said at a meeting with cabinet members and Republican lawmakers.

"The message was that even though the president was a little unclear perhaps in his chat, he was very much in favor of the [compromise] bill", Rep. Fred Upton (R., Mich.) said in describing the pitch early Wednesday from House Republican leaders.

Frightened, alone and locked in "cages" - at first these images of migrant children appear to be straight from Donald Trump's America.

Perry was not at the meeting with Trump, but said he doubts the president's words will affect his position.

He told House Republicans on Tuesday night he would support either of the immigration bills under consideration, but did not give a preference.

Fox News' John Roberts reported earlier on Wednesday that the executive action the White House was considering would allow parents and children to be detained together - signaling that the White House was not backing off of its "zero-tolerance" policy, but rather just moving to detain families in the same facility. A particularly harrowing account told of parents being informed that their child was being taken away for a bath - only to be told half an hour later that they would not see them again.

The house speaker denied claims that children are being used as leverage when it comes to immigration.

Ryan said it is a "ridiculous choice" to decide between separating families and enforcing laws, and that both bills up for consideration would take steps to solve the issue.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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