Homeland Security chief slams 'irresponsible' reports on separation of migrant families

Stephen Miller Was Driving Force Behind Trump Family Separation Policy

President Trump points finger at Democrats for not fixing "world's worst immigration" laws amid controversy over separating families at the border; Kevin Corke reports from the White House. We do not have the luxury of pretending that all individuals coming to this country as a family unit are, in fact, a family. "From a law enforcement perspective, this zero-tolerance approach makes little sense", said John Cohen, an ABC News consultant and former acting Homeland Security undersecretary.

"It was a simple decision by the administration to have a zero tolerance policy for illegal entry, period".

"We can secure our borders without taking actions that are morally wrong and shameful", Kasich said. But the president has repeatedly blamed Democrats, citing an unspecified law that he says requires children to be taken from parents who cross the border illegally. "They are the ones who broke the law, they are the ones who endangered their own children on their trek".

It's since resulted in almost 2,000 children separated from their families at the border over six weeks, according to the Associated Press.

DHS "may separate a parent or legal guardian from his or her child for several reasons, including situations where DHS can not ascertain the parental relationship, when DHS determines that a child may be at risk with the presumed parent or legal guardian, or if a parent or legal guardian is referred for criminal prosecution, including for illegal entry", the website notes.

A chaotic scene unfolded Sunday morning as seven Democratic members of Congress sought entry to the Elizabeth Contract Detention Facility in New Jersey.

Previously, border authorities often issued notices to appear in court to families apprehended crossing the border who claimed asylum, then released them.

Outcry over the separations grew over the weekend as members of Congress visited detention centers around the country.

"On the legislative side, they are not trying to talk to any Democrats", said Drew Hammill, deputy chief of staff for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. Frank Pallone, Rep. Albio Sires and Rep. Bill Pascrell, of New Jersey.

Bush also wrote about the "trauma" these children could face.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen targeted those groups by name in a series of tweets on Sunday night.

Pallone described meeting a man whose 5-year-old daughter was taken from him.

She said "the US government "should not be in the business of warehousing children in converted box stores or making plans to place them in tent cities in the desert outside of El Paso". "He got on his knees and cried and begged them and they took her away".

Protesters marched to one such tent city in Tornillo, Texas, on Sunday where hundreds of children were being held without their parents. New centers in Texas will open in the next few days.

Marchers held signs and chanted "What do we want? No more free passes, no more get out of jail free cards".

"We operate according to some of the highest standards in the country".

He said that border agents and administration should "use their conscience", while policymakers should do some "soul searching".

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