Former first lady Hillary Clinton, the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, said Monday the situation at the southern USA border is "a moral and humanitarian crisis", and what is happening to families there is "horrific". "Jesus said suffer the little children unto me - he did not say let the children suffer".
Nielsen could offer an authoritative voice on the matter, Trump and other top officials believed, and she underwent extensive preparation ahead of the briefing.
"The United States will not be a migrant camp and it will not be a refugee holding facility", he declared.
Then a distraught but determined 6-year-old Salvadoran girl pleads repeatedly for someone to call her aunt. She's crying and begging me to go get her. She says, 'I promise I'll behave, but please get me out of here. "For those seeking asylum at ports of entry, we have continued the policy from previous Administrations and will only separate if the child is in danger, there is no custodial relationship between "family" members, or if the adult has broken a law", she explained. Ginger Thompson, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and former New York Times bureau chief in Mexico City, who reported the piece, wrote that the audio was provided to her by Jennifer Harbury, a well-known civil rights attorney who has worked on border issues in Texas for decades. She told ProPublica the person who made the recording was a client of hers who asked to remain anonymous because that person feared retribution.
Government statistics indicate that, so far, almost 2,000 children were separated from their families over a six-week period in April and May.
The Trump administration on Monday defended its hardline immigration policy at the U.S. -Mexico border as criticism mounted over detained immigrant parents being separated from their children, including video of youngsters sitting in concrete-floored cages.
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Over the last five years, though, migrants have figured out how to exploit that system, realizing they can get more lenient treatment if they arrive as families, and figuring that if they claim asylum, even with dubious cases, they can often get released into the USA where they can disappear into the shadows.
"I would like to take one minute and say something directly to President Trump", he said in a Monday interview on Fox News' "Fox & Friends".
In South Texas on Sunday, several Democratic lawmakers, including Senator Jeff Merkley, were due to tour detention facilities to call attention to the policy, while Representative Beto O'Rourke, who is running for the US Senate in Texas, said he would march with protesters to the border.
The policy was announced as a deterrence measure in May by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
"I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13, to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained the government for his purposes", he said.
Press secretary Sarah Sanders delayed her briefing nearly four hours as Kirstjen Nielsen, the homeland security secretary, was flown back from New Orleans to face reporters. "It's a moral policy to follow and enforce the law".
"You take a look at the death and destruction that's been caused by people coming into this country without going through a process".