Homeland Security chief denies policy separates families at border

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

According to a Department of Homeland Security spokesman, between April 19 and May 31, 1,995 children were separated from 1,940 adults who were being held by U.S. border patrol.

Several prominent Democrats spent Father's Day crisscrossing the Rio Grande Valley in Texas to meet with USA border authorities and tour detention centers for apprehended children, including a former Walmart Inc. store that's been converted into a shelter for nearly 1,500 immigrant boys.

"It is the Democrats fault for being weak and ineffective with Boarder Security and Crime. We give them medical care", Nielsen said.

That echoed a statement from California Sen.

"The government should be in the business of keeping families together, not tearing them apart", Harris, a rising star in the Democratic Party, said in a statement. Last month, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said, "If you don't want your child to be separated, then don't bring them across the border illegally".

Hours earlier, speaking at a national sheriff's confab in New Orleans, Nielsen said, "We do not have the luxury of pretending that all individuals coming to this country as a family unit are in fact a family".

"Illegal actions have and must have consequences", she said.

Harris called Nielsen's lack of transparency "disqualifying".

Though she was not as explicit as the President in characterizing the policy as a negotiating tactic, Nielsen clearly linked the effort with the demands the administration has made on Congress, which include passing laws that even some Republicans don't support.

While Nielsen is technically correct - there's no statute explicitly calling for families to be forcibly separated - it has been the practical and direct effect of this zero-tolerance policy. "No, you did do it". The delegation visited Casa San Diego, a facility run by the Department of Health and Human Services in El Cajon, Calif. that houses immigrant children caught crossing the border with family members or alone. 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.

The stories of babies ripped from the arms of their mothers, scenes of jail-like facilities, and reports of plans to house the growing number of children in tent cities have drawn an increasingly sharp public outcry over the last week. Senator Merkley hasn't ruled out running for president in 2020, while Senator Van Hollen is in charge of Senate Democrats' 2018 campaign committee.

She said that Nielsen falsely claimed that parents can have contact with their children once separated.

Many others in Washington and around the country said the Trump White House is going too far.

Republicans were tentatively planning to offer two bills this week in Congress, one that would sharply curtail legal immigration and another, as yet not revealed, that could draw criticism from conservatives.

Some moderate Republicans have also called on Trump to stop the separations.

Fox News has always been accused of parroting messages from President Donald Trump, Indeed, the network's top-rated host Sean Hannity reportedly speaks with Trump by phone regularly, to the extent that some administration officials have labeled him the "unofficial chief of staff".

"What's happening is so sad, is so sad", the president said. "Of course we do not want any situation where a child is not completely adequately taken care of".

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