Melania Trump 'hates to see' children separated from their families

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A young girl looks at a cup of soup handed to her by volunteers in a migration center in the border town of McAllen, Texas.

The McAllen delegation was led by Senators Jeff Merkley of OR and Chris Van Hollen of Maryland.

"This is why we need more Republicans elected in November". Before April, border patrol agents could use discretion in deciding each case; a parent with children would probably have received somewhat more favorable treatment.

She said "the US government "should not be in the business of warehousing children in converted box stores or making plans to place them in tent cities in the desert outside of El Paso".

U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez on Sunday slammed President Donald Trump's immigration policy of separating children from their parents at the border and compared Trump's actions to those used in Nazi Germany.

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump is laying the blame at the feet of Democrats.

In May, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a "zero tolerance" approach towards migrants and refugees who cross the U.S. southern border without documents, promising to prosecute those who did so.

The battle over children being separating from their parents at the border is spilling over into another week. Republican Senator Susan Collins of ME said on Sunday the number "may well be higher".

Administration officials have defended the tactic as necessary to secure the border and suggested it would act as a deterrent to illegal immigration.

Yet, Bannon added, Trump has gained nothing from Democrats for his outreach. "Go for it! WIN!"

"Nobody likes" breaking up families and "seeing babies ripped from their mothers' arms", said Kellyanne Conway, a counsellor to the president.

"I want that person to say it to my face, I really do", she said.

Other Trump allies are unapologetic. "This, I think, is a ideal example, of why our borders need to be secured", Boyd said.

USA religious leaders have castigated the policy.

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The first lady said she "hates to see children separated from their families" and that she hoped Republicans and Democrats could "come together to achieve successful immigration reform", in a statement her spokesperson made to CNN.

Even first lady Melania Trump, who has tended to stay out of contentious policy debates, waded into the emotional issue.

Democrat Senator Dianne Feinstein said the bill had picked up support from 48 senators.

On Monday congressional Democrats who are members of a Homeland Security committee will tour facilities in Brownsville where hundreds of undocumented immigrants are being housed.

O'Rourke said Sunday he's working with colleagues to introduce a bill this week in the House.

"The thought that any state would seek to deter parents by inflicting such abuse on children is unconscionable".

The Republican-led House of Representatives may vote this week on two immigration measures - a hardline bill and a compromise measure that would limit legal immigration while also ending family separations.

This pressure is coming as White House officials have tried to distance themselves from the policy.

"These children should not be a negotiating tool", he wrote on Twitter.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen targeted those groups by name in a series of tweets on Sunday night. We want you to imagine for a moment what this might be like for a child: to flee the place you have called your home because it is not safe to say and then embark on a unsafe journey to an unknown destination, only to be ripped apart from your sole sense of security with no understanding of what just happened to you or if you will ever see your family again.

Senators Jeff Merkley of OR and Chris Van Hollen of Maryland led a group of Democratic lawmakers to a detention facility in Brownsville, Texas, on Sunday but were not allowed to talk with children held there.

Many Democrats have shied away from overly politicizing the situation at the border.

Anyway, making it so Immigration and Customs Enforcement can detain the kids along with their parents is only a minor improvement - since ICE is already running out of space to hold people, and looking at "tent cities" as a supposedly-temporary expedient.

"Under no moral code, under no religious tradition, is this acceptable", Senator Merkley said.