Obama calls for end to the ‘cruelty’ of family separations

Trump alone to blame for family separations but entire GOP will pay

In May, the Department of Justice adopted the zero-tolerance policy in which anyone caught entering the US illegally is criminally prosecuted.

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. Nielsen is on her way to the White House to discuss the order with the president and his team. My wife feels very strongly about it. "Perhaps I would rather be strong, but that's a tough dilemma", he said. "I'll be doing something that's somewhat preemptive and ultimately will be matched by legislation I'm sure".

Trump dug in, saying Tuesday in a series of tweets that the separation policy was vital to keeping Americans safe. Instinctively combative and fond of chaos, Trump usually digs in on controversial policies, rather than backing down.

The first lady has been working for several days behind the scenes, encouraging the President to keep families together, a White House official told CNN. - Jim Dean, Chair, Democracy for America PS: American Airlines has asked the government not to put children separated from families on its flights.

"No executive order Donald Trump signs can even begin to erase the psychological torment he's subjected these children and families to or the profound moral shame the actions of the Trump administration have brought to the country. If the president thinks placing families in jail indefinitely is what people have been asking for, he is grossly mistaken", said Anthony Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union.

The policy, introduced in May by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, caused widespread outrage in the U.S. this week after pictures of children being separated from their parents and placed in detention were splashed across the media.

"Whether our families crossed the Atlantic, the Pacific, or the Rio Grande, we're only here because this country welcomed them in..." he said.

Whatever else he may achieve, from foreign policy to the economy, President Trump's cruel immigration policy will be a lasting stain on his legacy.

The policies of separating children from adults who are being prosecuted were in place during the Obama administration and date back to former president George W. Bush. Trump seemed loath even to talk about immigration, but when he finally did, he stuck to the line that Congress needs to pass comprehensive immigration legislation - like one of the two bills the House will vote on later this week. A vote on that bill was pushed to next week after a conservative measure failed and lawmakers sought changes to the somewhat more moderate measure.

The policy had led to a spike in family separations in recent weeks, with more than 2,300 minors separated from their families at the border from May 5 through June 9, according to Homeland Security.

Nielsen explained the order Trump had signed an hour earlier to keep immigrant families together as they await immigration proceedings. Media reports have appeared about heart-rending scenes of children crying for their parents.

One of the people familiar with Nielsen's thinking said she believes there is no certainty that Congress will act to fix the separation issue.

Under a court settlement, the federal government can not hold the children for more than 20 days.

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