Republicans condemn separating immigrant families at border as outrage grows

President Donald Trump is to meet with House Republicans this week to discuss immigration legislation following public and political backlash over his administration's policy of separating migrant children from their parents at the US-Mexico border.

She said she "hates to see children separated from their families and hopes both sides. can finally come together".

Democrats and some of Trump's own Republicans have admonished the administration for dividing almost 2,000 children from their parents between mid-April and the end of May.

"Without him coming to Capitol Hill on Tuesday, I don't think we'd have that sort of maximum pressure, if you will, to get us across the goal line, and I anticipate on Tuesday that he's going to be the leader he is and we're going to get something passed out of the House", said McCaul, R-Texas.

Trump falsely claimed that the separation of families was a result of a Democratic Party policy, and said it could only end when Democrats came to the table to negotiate broad immigration legislation that included funding for his border wall. Anita McBride, executive-in-residence at the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies at American University in Washington and a former chief of staff for Bush, said Monday these first ladies are well-known for standing up for women's issues. Children are not detained with their parents when those parents are facing a criminal charge, as per USA protocol. "He did not say "let the children suffer".

Parents who are referred by border agents for prosecutions are held in federal jail, while their children are sent to separate detention facilities, some in remote locations. But words matter, which is why NPR is referring to the Trump administration policy of separating families at the USA border. Sessions has routinely defended his decision, saying that "if you are smuggling a child then we will prosecute you, and that child will be separated from you as required by law".

He blamed Democrats for the impasse, even though his fellow Republicans control both chambers in Congress.

She continued: "It is important to note that these minors are very well taken care of - don't believe the press - they are very well taken care of".

The US Attorney General - who is the American government's top lawyer - says that bringing children with them shouldn't stop illegal migrants being punished. "It is immoral. And it breaks my heart", she wrote in a guest column for the Washington Post Sunday.

Trump tweeted: "Why don't the Democrats give us the votes to fix the world's worst immigration laws?" 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.

Mrs Trump, who moved from her native Slovenia to the USA where she married her husband in 2005, often campaigns on behalf of children.

In his tweet, Jeb Bush also plugged the idea of providing a path to citizenship for young undocumented immigrants known as "dreamers" - a group whose fate is in jeopardy because of another Trump policy change.

  • Jon Douglas