Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren, a critic of President Donald Trump and rumored 2020 presidential candidate, on Tuesday fired back at his claim that Democrats are responsible for families being torn apart at the Mexican border by saying that children being separated is what he has in his mind.
Some social media users appear to have conflated the figures of unaccompanied minors and those who had been separated from their parents, but the outcry remains significant.
"If you cross the border unlawfully ... we will prosecute you", he said. "If you don't want your child separated then don't bring them across the border illegally".
Trump, in turn, has recently blamed the policy of splitting up families on a law enacted by Democrats, claiming that his opponents in Congress are blocking attempts to fix the immigration system to get rid of the "horrible law".
Over Memorial Day weekend, President Trump tweeted that people should "put pressure on the Democrats to end the frightful law that separates children from there parents once they cross the Border into the U.S".
Democrats said the administration was trying to deflect responsibility for its own policies. Chris Murphy (D., Conn.), responding to a news report about the administration blaming the Democrats.
Lawmakers have focused this year on reaching a deal that would protect hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants, known as Dreamers, from deportation, in exchange for tougher border enforcement and other measures. Mr. Trump ended an Obama-era program that protected the Dreamers but it remains in effect due to federal court rulings. They also advance the administration's agenda by conveying the message to immigrants that coming to the United States is extremely risky for them and their children. Not surprisingly, many of those families include other relatives living in the USA illegally who are very reluctant to talk to government officials, especially during Trump's presidency.
White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller said the administration would prefer to detain parents and children together, but the lack of detention space, along with the specifications of the Flores agreement, are preventing that. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, at the April hearing with Wagner noted a past report about HHS (during the Obama administration) failing to place children with people who would care for them, citing a case of Guatemalan minors who ended up with human traffickers. Yes, she shared a photo of herself and her son while illegal immigrant families apprehended at the border are temporarily separated in order to be charged with the crime they just committed.
The policy comes from Trump's own administration, which has made a decision to enforce criminal charges against people crossing the border illegally with few or no previous offenses. "There are no "loopholes" nor statutory requirements that children be ripped from their parents' arms as a matter of routine practice". "You'd nearly never know her father's administration, to which she is an adviser, was brutally separating migrant children from their asylum-seeking parents and lost track of 1,5000 of them".
In the 1997 legal settlement, the court ruled that DHS can only detain minors at the border for a maximum of 20 days, before being required to release them to foster families or shelters if the kids are unaccompanied.
Readers asked us to clarify what exactly happened with the children and how they got here.
The Trump administration has criticized these policies of leading to "catch and release" method of border security, with Trump calling for a more hardline approach that adheres more closely to current laws.