Five first ladies speak out on family separations at border

Five first ladies speak out on family separations at border

According to her own department's figures, at least 2,000 children have been separated from their guardians since mid-April as the administration ramped up enforcement of a new "zero-tolerance policy" on illegal border crossings.

"Mrs Trump hates to see children separated from their families and hopes both sides of the aisle can finally come together to achieve successful immigration reform", Mrs Trump's communications director Stephanie Grisham said in a statement to CNN. People seeking asylum in the US, she said, should go to official ports of entry instead of crossing the border illegally.

Nielsen noted how the administration saw a 315 percent increase in immigrants "fraudulently using children to pose as family units to gain entry into this country" from October 2017 to this past February.

While Melania Trump's admonition was oblique and understated, former First Lady Laura Bush lit into the Trump administration, calling it's zero-tolerance policy cruel and immoral. "She believes we need to be a country that follows all laws, but also a country that governs with heart", the statement read. There is a law against "improper entry" at the border, as well as a consent decree known as the Flores settlement that limits to 20 days the amount of time migrant children may be held in immigration detention, which a federal judge ruled in 2016 also applies to families.

"It is inconsistent with our American values to separate these children from their parents", Ms Collins said on CBS' "Face the Nation" on Sunday. Nobody has such sad, such bad and actually, in many cases, such awful and tough - you see about child separation, you see what's going on there.

The administration doesn't have a family separation policy, though the zero tolerance policy announced last month, which brings criminal charges against migrants who jump the border, can lead to separations. One unidentified Border Patrol agent remarks, "Well, we have an orchestra here". "Well, we have an orchestra here.What's missing is a conductor", he says in the clip.

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Nielsen said the expeditious return of children and a law change allowing children to stay with their families will help DHS deal with the problem of minors being used fraudulently. She said immigrants will continue to seek asylum unless their home countries see major change. That's a shift from previous policy, when parents were typically detained with their children, temporarily, then released to await a hearing in immigration court.

"If the Democrats would sit down, instead of obstructing, we could have something done very quickly", he said.

Pelosi put most of the blame for the separation policy on President Trump.

He said the practice was "deeply unethical" and that Republicans' refusal to criticise Mr Trump represented a "sad degeneration" of the GOP, which he said had become "the party of lies".

"We have a statutory responsibility that we take seriously to protect alien children", she said.

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