'We Will Not Apologize': Trump DHS Chief Defends Immigration Policy

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"If you don't want your child separated, then don't bring them across the border illegally". By embracing a more hard-line policy, the Trump administration has set off speculation that it's using the threat of separating families as both a deterrent to immigrants and as a political tool in the hopes of reshaping America's laws. Many prominent Republicans, even some presidential flatterers like Anthony Scaramucci and Franklin Graham, are bashing the White House over it and there are destined to be horror stories involving kids in federal detention as time wears on.

"This is about a bad policy folks have created". Former Ohio governor John Kasich, a Republican who challenged Trump's nomination in 2016 and may do so again in 2020, said "we need to forcefully take a stand against this policy" in a fundraising solicitation.

In April, Sessions announced that anyone found trying to cross the border illegally would be met with "the full prosecutorial powers of the Department of Justice", meaning that parents crossing with children would be detained and their children placed in US custody. "This Department will not longer stand by and watch you attack law enforcement for enforcing the laws passed by Congress".

Is this the best way to handle families entering the USA illegally, seeking asylum? "Congress is the one that needs to fix this".

Trump issued a series of tweets Monday morning blaming Democrats for refusing to agree to changes to immigration law he's demanded and warning the US otherwise risked repeating what he portrayed as the mistakes of Europe, where he said immigrants have "strongly and violently changed their culture".

"What my response would be is calling attention to this matter is important", Nielsen said from the White House briefing room Monday.

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Because of those fraudulent claims, Nielsen said, the United States faced a backlog with hundreds of thousands of cases. She defended the practice, saying those at the border are being treated the same other parents accused of breaking the law.

But the measure has been harshly denounced by activists, religious leaders, elected Democrats and Republicans alike.

"I live in a border state".

The San Diego Tribune pointed out that even before Sessions announced the zero-tolerance policy, immigration prosecutions increased almost 24 percent between February and March of this year, according to TRAC data. "It is immoral. And it breaks my heart".

Nielsen said "those who have complained" about the policies now have an "opportunity" to work with the administration on the issue. But the president has repeatedly blamed Democrats, citing an unspecified law that he says requires children to be taken from parents who cross the border illegally.

"The Democrats are forcing the break up of families at the Border with their frightful and cruel legislative agenda", Mr Trump said on Twitter.