All five living first ladies condemn USA separation policy

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Mr Trump has blamed "Democrat-supported loopholes" in federal law for the family separations, but critics of the policy say the recent spike is due to the enforcement of US Attorney General Jeff Sessions' "zero tolerance" approach.

A harrowing recording from inside a border facility has added fuel to the controversy over the immigration policies that have separated thousands of children from their families.

Despite efforts to stifle it, illegal immigration into the United States remains at high levels. "Hopefully people will get the message and not break across the border unlawfully". In some cases, families have not been able to locate their children afterward.

Mexican nationals can be pushed back into their country, but an increasing number are from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador in Central America.

"When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best ..."

Trump has repeatedly said he wants family separations to end, but has refused to take responsibility for them - instead blaming Democrats, the minority party in Congress, whom he accuses of blocking legislation on the broader issue of illegal immigration. Most assumed the hearings would lead to their deportation, so they never showed. "The United States will not be a migrant camp and it will not be a refugee holding facility", he said during an event on space policy.

An increasing number of people arrive with the help of human smugglers, well-coached to request "credible fear" asylum, and can not be turned back, according to administration officials.

Mr Sessions has rejected claims U.S. holding centres for child migrants separated from parents are like Nazi concentration camps. But that failed to affect arrivals. As Vox reports, that included about two weeks when the zero-tolerance policy was not in full effect.

Homeland Security chief denies policy separates families at border
Kamala Harris , a California Democrat who is a potential presidential candidate, issued a blistering statement. We give them meals, we give them education, we give them medical care.

Under the measure, anyone who illegally crosses the border will be arrested on criminal charges. "Where is the outcry for the killings and crime being caused by gangs and thugs, including MS-13, coming into our country illegally?" Mr Sessions said this policy aimed to deter others from arriving. There have been stories of children being torn from their parents' arms and parents not being able to locate their sons and daughters.

Is it policy or law?

Journalists have been placed in the unusual position of covering the Trump administration as a propaganda outlet rather than reliable source, fact-checking and swatting away the administration's lies about the family separation policy in real time.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions slammed critics who faulted the policy for dividing families who illegally cross the United States border from Mexico, adding Mr Obama was responsible, Fox News reports.

But that forces the separation.

"I visited Thailand and witnessed firsthand the trauma of parents and children separated by circumstances beyond their control". The bill would also call for parents and children to be detained together as they await a decision, unless there's "aggravated criminal conduct or threat of harm to children".

"When you exempt a group of people from the law. that creates a draw", said Manuel Padilla, the Border Patrol's chief agent here.

Kennedy acknowledged that addressing undocumented immigration is "a legitimately hard issue", but argued it's unacceptable for the USA government to target young children.