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Why is the USA separating immigrant families?

19 Juin 2018

Republicans on Capitol Hill frantically searched on Tuesday (June 19) for ways to end the administration's policy of separating families after illegal border crossings, ahead of a visit from President Donald Trump to discuss broader immigration legislation.

US- Several Central American children separated from parents at the southern US border are heard desperately sobbing and wailing in a recording released on Monday by transparency group ProPublica, some so hard they nearly can not breathe. "We're not the ones responsible for creating this problem", White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said. "We've inherited it".

One, he is not backing down and says he can't reverse the policy without congressional action. In a Quinnipiac University poll released Monday, 66 percent of respondents - and 68 percent of independents - say they do not favor separating children from their families at the border.

Secret audio recorded at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection detention facility revealed harrowing cries from children separated from their families. "What's missing is a conductor". "When I was first lady, I worked to call attention to the plight of refugees fleeing Cambodia for Thailand", she said Monday in a statement to The Washington Post. "Unfortunately, our borders lack the infrastructure to support all of the individuals and families seeking asylum in the United States".

They have joined a growing chorus of voices condemning the policy, as the White House said it was looking at emergency legislation meant to keep immigrant families together, tabled by Republican senator Ted Cruz, of Texas.

"We don't want what is happening with immigration in Europe to happen with us!" We can not allow for this to continue happening, and it must stop. "Not on my watch".

Senator Pat Roberts, from Kansas, said he is "against using parental separation as a deterrent to illegal immigration". Despite these results and the media outcry, President Trump is enjoying higher approval ratings than ever before. This matches his previous peak, in the first week after his inauguration in January 2016.

In the five weeks from the announcement, more than 2,300 children were taken from their parents and adult relatives.

And the administration cites the 1952 Immigration and Nationality Act, which makes a first illegal entry into the US a misdemeanor. The bill would also call for parents and children to be detained together as they await a decision, unless there's "aggravated criminal conduct or threat of harm to children".

Mr Sessions has rejected claims USA holding centres for child migrants separated from parents are like Nazi concentration camps. In both cases Trump said he backed certain polices only to turn around later and blast the same ideas-and those who voted for them-later on Twitter.

Officials have also announced plans to erect tent cities that will hold hundreds more children in the Texas desert where temperatures regularly reach 40C (105F).

The administration has long wanted to roll back a law unanimously passed under President George W. Bush and a court settlement dating back decades but most recently affirmed under the Obama administration - citing those two provisions as "loopholes". "Mrs. Trump hates to see children separated from their families and hopes both sides of the aisle can finally come together to achieve successful immigration reform", her communications director, Stephanie Grisham, told CNN Sunday. Former first lady Laura Bush called the administration's practices "cruel" and "immoral," and likened images of immigrant children being held in kennels to those that came out of Japanese internment camps during World War II.

Almost 2,000 children were separated from their families over a six-week period in April and May.

Why is the USA separating immigrant families?