Published: Wed, June 20, 2018
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

White House: We won't stop separating migrant kids from parents

White House: We won't stop separating migrant kids from parents

"The children are not being used as a pawn, we are trying to protect the children", she said. Trump scrapped that policy last fall, though federal courts have kept the program in place temporarily.

On Monday, speaking to the nation's sheriffs at a gathering in New Orleans, again defended the zero tolerance policy.

And on Monday, Nielsen herself underscored the stricter policy.

Over the last five years, though, migrants have figured out how to exploit that system, realizing they can get more lenient treatment if they arrive as families, and figuring that if they claim asylum, even with dubious cases, they can often get released into the USA where they can disappear into the shadows.

"This must not be who we are as a nation", said Representative Jerrold Nadler, one of seven members of Congress from NY and New Jersey who met with five detainees inside the facility, including three who said they had young relatives removed from their care after seeking asylum at the border. But then she went on to say, in fact, that families often are turned away when border agents don't have the resources to process them, though they are told to come back.

Nielsen said the policy was signed into law during the George W. Bush administration.

"I think she should resign", Pelosi said.

The letter is the latest but far from the only plea from congressional Republicans for President Trump and his administration to end this policy, which by the Department of Homeland Security's own numbers say have separated 2,000 families in recent weeks.

Democrats in the US House of Representatives will introduce legislation this week aimed at stopping separations, mirroring a similar Senate bill sponsored by Democrat Dianne Feinstein. Asked about Nielsen's comments implying that undocumented immigrants were using children as a "get-out-of-jail-free card", Pelosi responded, "That's exactly what the president of the United States is doing, he's using these children to advance a bad policy". "I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13, to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained them for the objective of order", he said Thursday.

But the policy has drawn condemnation from medical professionals, religious leaders and immigration activists, who warn that some children could suffer lasting psychological trauma.

The Office of Refugee Resettlement is the agency under the umbrella of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that is responsible for the children. Mr Sessions has also ordered that immigrants can no longer be granted asylum based on threats of gang or domestic violence, a major cause of migration from Central America. All 49 Senate Democrats are now sponsoring California Sen.

Valadao and a number of other House Republicans are pushing the party to pass an immigration bill later this week that would require the government to keep detained children with at least one of their parents, a tacit rejection of the Trump policy.

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