Visual Story | Children, the border and a familiar mix of emotions

AG Sessions Receives National Sheriff's Association Lifetime Achievement Award

Rep. Kevin Yoder responds to border policy demands

US nonprofit news organization ProPublica on Monday published what it said was recordings of ten children desperately calling for their parents at a facility near the US-Mexico border last week.

Yoder, who is chairman of a House Appropriations homeland security subcommittee, demanded the change Monday.

"We do not want to separate children from their parents".

"It takes a lasting, and sometimes even irreversible toll on the child's well being", said Yoder, who sent the letter Monday. "That's why I'm demanding that Attorney General Sessions halt the practice of family separation at the border immediately as Congress works toward legislative solutions".

Attorney General Jeff Sessions defended the Trump administration policy of separating families at the border, declaring "this country is dedicated to caring for children" and stressing how much is being spent on their room and board.

The Associated Press last week obtained DHS figures showing that, as a result of the administration's new "zero-tolerance" policy, almost 2,000 children had been separated from their parents by border officials during a six-week span between April 19 and May 31 this year, many of whom were fleeing death threats and seeking safety in the United States. "We can not and will not encourage people to bring their children - or other children - to the country illegally by giving them immunity in the process".

Sunday evening, hours before her remarks in New Orleans, Nielsen posted a thread of tweets claiming preposterously that the Trump administration had no child separation policy for families detained at the USA southern border.

Although President Donald Trump and several members of his administration, including Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, have repeatedly claimed the family separation policy must be enforced, legal experts, including this group of attorneys, have challenged such an assertion.

"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".

However, many lawmakers, including from Trump's own Republican party, have called on the Justice Department to end the policy. Jenkins is not running for re-election.

Sen. Jerry Moran's office did not immediately comment Monday. Marshall said he has empathy for the children who have been separated, and called it "terrible".

Two immigration bills under consideration in the House could address the separations, but the outlook for passage is dim. Conservatives say the compromise legislation that GOP leaders helped negotiate with moderates is inadequate.

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