Published: Tue, June 19, 2018
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

Why Trump is digging in on separating families at the border

Why Trump is digging in on separating families at the border

First lady Melania Trump has waded into the emotional controversy over policies enacted by her husband's administration that have increased the number of migrant children being separated from their parents.

Trump also claimed that criminals are using children to enter the country.

U.S. officials said on Friday that almost 2000 children were separated from adults at the border between mid-April and the end of May.

He pointed to the Obama administration policy derided by Republicans as "catch and release". But the separations instead largely stem from a "zero-tolerance" policy announced with fanfare last month by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

"Jesus said suffer the little children unto me - he did not say let the children suffer", Clinton continued, citing a Bible verse. "As a result of this failed policy, the federal government now holds these individuals at the border".

"The United States will not be a migrant camp and it will not be a refugee holding facility", he added. "You see what's going on with child separation", he said, noting the weekend's news cycle.

While parents are held in jail, their children are sent to separate detention facilities. "But I think this particular situation with the separation of families leads and gives a new meaning to that phrase".

The separations are a outcome of a Trump administration policy to maximize criminal prosecutions of people caught trying to enter the US illegally. The idea of America as a biblical shining city on the top of the hill as described in Matthew 5:14 is a phrase whose imagery has been used by numerous POTUSes including JFK, Reagan, Bush and Obama and Trump's rival Marco Rubio who had used it to denounce Trump. We want safety and we want security for our country.

President Donald Trump, who continues to blame Democrats for a policy cooked up by his administration, doesn't appear to be backing down. Her spokeswoman says that Mrs. Trump believes "we need to be a country that follows all laws", but also one "that governs with heart".

He has consistently blamed Democrats for the impasse, even though his fellow Republicans control both chambers in Congress. Democrats have accused the president of using children as hostages in the political dispute over immigration.

Asked whether the president was willing to end the policy, she said: "The president is ready to get meaningful immigration reform across the board".

House Republican leaders are reworking their "compromise" immigration bill to include a provision that modifies - but doesn't completely end - the "zero tolerance" policy being enforced now by the Trump administration.

"We urge the administration to change its policy and Congress to pass legislation ensuring children are no longer separated from their families", it said. Border Patrol agents take into custody a father and son from Honduras near the U.S. -Mexico border on June 12, 2018 near Mission, Texas.

"An agency may not remove a child from a parent or legal guardian exclusively for the policy goal of deterring individuals from migrating to the United States or for the policy goal of promoting compliance with civil immigration laws", the California Democrat's bill reads.

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