Susan Collins says separating immigrant families ‘inconsistent with American values’

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"They're willing to risk harm to a child being traumatized, separated from a parent and sitting in federal detention by themselves, in order to reach a larger policy goal of deterrence", said Jennifer Podkul, director of policy at Kids in Need of Defence, which represents children in immigration court.

Trump plans to meet with House Republicans on Tuesday to discuss pending immigration legislation amid an election-season debate over an issue that helped vault the NY real estate mogul into the Oval Office in 2016. USA border authorities are executing the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy toward undocumented immigrants.

"After having to deal with local PD".

Last week, authorities said one man who was separated from his children committed suicide.

The lawmakers in Elizabeth waited about 90 minutes to gain access to the detention facility, which is operated for the USA government by a private contractor.

The president attempted to cast the blame away from his administration Friday morning, tweeting, "The Democrats are forcing the breakup of families at the Border with their awful and cruel legislative agenda".

"I'm looking at both of them", Trump told Fox News.

The separation policy follows Attorney General Jeff Sessions' announcement on April 6 of a "zero-tolerance" immigration policy that includes criminally prosecuting illegal border-crossers, thus separating them from children who under US law can not be held in criminal detention centers. The blame, he said, rests "on all of us, not just the Trump administration". In the past, families in this situation have typically been subject to civil deportation proceedings instead of criminal prosecution. Before April, border patrol agents could use discretion in deciding each case; a parent with children would probably have received somewhat more favorable treatment. Since children can not be jailed in federal prisons, they're placed in shelters that have long existed for unaccompanied immigrant children arriving on the border alone.

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Under the new policy, DHS says about 2,000 minors were separated from their "alleged adult guardians" between mid-April and the end of May, although Sen.

"Democrats are good at only three things, High Taxes, High Crime and Obstruction", Trump said, using the argument to promote Republican candidates ahead of the November midterms.

"What the administration has chose to do is to separate children from their parents to try to send a message that if you cross the border with children, your children are going to be ripped away from you", Collins said, on CBS' Face The Nation.

The Trump administration has sought several amendments to the TVPRA, arguing that many unaccompanied migrant children are not actually victims of human trafficking, and therefore most of those children should be "promptly returned to their home countries".

Sessions described the policy as created to be a deterrant to illegal immigration, announcing "If you don't like that, then don't smuggle children over our border". But senior White House adviser Kellyanne Conway pushed back on that notion Sunday. "I want that person to say it to my face", she told Todd "I'll meet them at the White House today because I think that's a disgrace".

The separations stem from a deliberate policy shift by the Trump administration, which it has the power to unilaterally reverse. "We've got to get rid of catch and release". "It's all of the above", Conway said.

In recent days, Trump has blamed the Democrats and tweeted that the party is "forcing the breakup of families at the Border with their frightful and cruel legislative agenda".

The president used a similar strategy previous year as he sought to gain approval for his immigration demands by using the lure of protection for young immigrants brought to the United States as children.

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