Donald Trump, nervous Republicans scramble for legislative fix to family separation crisis

Criminal conviction rates in Texas per 100,000 population 2015

Criminal conviction rates in Texas per 100,000 population 2015

President Donald Trump has justified the forceful separation of over 2,000 children from their parents in ongoing crackdown on illegal immigrants across the United States.

The Mexican government is condemning the separation of children from families on the USA border.

"The only way to guarantee on an issue this complicated that we get a fix is for it to be a narrow solution, targeted to this particular problem", Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, said on Tuesday. People caught crossing illegally now face automatic criminal prosecution.

Anne Heaney, 74, a retired teacher, held a sign that read, "Children do not belong in cages".

Former First Lady Laura Bush meanwhile wrote in a Washington Post op-ed that the tactics were "immoral" and evoked Japanese-American internment camps during the Second World War.

The Republican-controlled Congress is under pressure to curb the policy after it sparked widespread condemnation. "We have no wall". Submit your questions, and we'll answer the most popular questions on our blog, Immigration Decoded.

Democrats, religious leaders, charities and celebrities have condemned the action, and on Tuesday, Republicans echoed their calls to keep the families together.

While top officials have also stood by Trump's "zero tolerance" approach, insisting children are being held in humane conditions, criticism has swelled from worldwide rights groups, Christian evangelicals, former USA first ladies and the president's own Republican Party.

More news: Melania Trump's Immigration Lawyer Compares Family Separation To Nazism

President Trump visited Capitol Hill on Tuesday to meet with anxious Republicans who hoped he'd help them put out the firestorm he started with his decision to separate parents and children.

Gelernt represents a Brazilian asylum seeker in a closely watched lawsuit that seeks a nationwide halt to family separation.

The separation of children from their parents is directly attributable to a change in enforcement policy repeatedly announced by Sessions in April and May 2018, under which adults (with or without children) are criminally prosecuted for attempting to enter the United States. That means more adults are jailed, pending trial, so their children are removed from them. What's heard in the audio are presumed Central American children wailing and sobbing for their parents.

On Monday, US Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen defended the "zero-tolerance" policy, arguing that the government was simply following the law and it would be up to Congress to change it. "People are not going to caravan or otherwise stampede our border". "Here's the President of the United States saying illegal immigrants "infest' our country".

The compromise bill shifts away from the nation's longtime preference for family immigration to a new system that prioritizes entry based on merits and skills. "I don't want to try people". Yet the classic rambling stem-winder delivered by Trump left members grasping for a clear sense of whether he supports both of the GOP immigration bills they plan to vote on later this week.

Trump also accused the news media, through its reporting of the issue, of "helping the smugglers, these traffickers" who are exploiting legislative loopholes. The immigration cuts will deny them much Democratic support, and the Republicans will have to unite the moderate and conservative wings of their fractious caucus.

Congressional Republicans have been scrambling to craft legislation as videos of youngsters in cages and an audiotape of wailing children have sparked anger at home from groups ranging from clergy to influential business leaders, as well as condemnation overseas. One legislative solution, proposed by Texas senator Ted Cruz, is to order families be kept together, with new detention facilities built for that goal.

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