To prosecute migrants, 'you have to take the children away'

Hannah Rogers
June 20, 2018

Former first lady Laura Bush called out the administration's practices, comparing the children to those who were placed in kennels at Japanese internment camps during World War II. Michelle Obama retweeted Bush, adding that "sometimes truth transcends party".

That's a false claim; The family separations are a result of the administration's "no tolerance" immigration policy. But Mr Sessions and others have referred to a policy of prosecuting adults for illegal border crossings.

The asylum seekers were then sent to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) processing center for possible separation.

The attorneys general of 21 states called on Sessions in a letter on Tuesday to stop endangering children by separating them from their families. "People on all sides agree that our immigration system isn't working, but the injustice of zero tolerance is not the answer". "I'd like to say it's un-American, but it's happening right now in America".

President Donald Trump vowed on Monday that the United States would not become a "migrant camp" as he faced mounting pressure to stop families being separated as a deterrent to illegal immigration.

Clinton, former first lady, secretary of state and Democratic presidential nominee, said at an awards lunch for the Women's Forum of NY that the separations are not required by law and are not grounded in any religion.

"Every human being with a sense of compassion and decency should be outraged", Clinton said. Children are not detained with their parents when those parents are facing a criminal charge, as per USA protocol.

"Some administration officials reportedly view the policy of separating children from their parents as leverage to gain other immigration policy changes from Congress", he said.

"They're fake", Trump said.

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On Tuesday the president again tried to blame Democrats for what he called "loopholes" in the law that require families detained for entering the country illegally either to be separated or released.

"This must not be who we are as a nation", said Representative Jerrold Nadler, one of seven members of Congress from NY and New Jersey who met with five detainees inside a facility in Elizabeth, New Jersey, including three who said they had young relatives removed from their care after seeking asylum at the border. Parents are being deported without their children.

"The test of any nation is how we treat the most vulnerable among us", Clinton said. She says, "We want to fix the whole thing, we don't want to tinker with just part of it".

"Border security and immigration enforcement are complex topics".

Under the "zero-tolerance" crackdown that the Trump administration rolled out in May, all border crossers - include first-time offenders - are criminally charged and jailed pending trial.

Democrat Representative Adam Schiff said that the administration is "using the grief, the tears, the pain of these kids as mortar to build our wall".

After being pressed on his stance on family separations, he responded, "No one supports separating children, but no one supports people coming in without the value of having the law behind them".

But it's become tougher to deport people as they've learned to exploit parts of USA law that are more lenient on children and families, and on people who claim asylum - even if their case is shaky.

"We want to end the border crisis by finally giving us the legal authorities and the resources to detain and remove illegal immigrant families altogether", Trump said Tuesday, "and bring them back to their country".

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