So far, however, the administration has dismissed questions about the division between the US and these allies, but amid the growing domestic and global criticism, President Donald Trump said Wednesday he would sign an executive order that would stop the separations practice and "keep families together".
The order will also give these families precedence when it comes to immigration proceedings, but it will not end the administration's so-called zero tolerance policy on illegal immigration, the official said.
He said if members of Congress really wanted to keep migrant families together, they could make a change to the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act, but they want it to be an issue.
Under previous U.S. administrations, undocumented immigrants caught crossing the border for the first time tended to be issued with court summonses. It's been just left out in the cold.
The pope said he stood with U.S. bishops who had denounced the action as "immoral", and denounced anti-immigrant action in both the United States and Europe, saying that "I believe that you can not reject people who arrive".
It was a dramatic turnaround for Trump, who has been insisting, wrongly, that his administration had no choice but to separate families apprehended at the border because of federal law and a court decision. "I think anybody with a heart would feel very strongly about it".
Trump's wife was among those urging him to reverse course. "Perhaps I would rather be strong, but that's a tough dilemma", he said. It also calls for prioritising immigration cases involving detained families.
"We're looking to keep families together".
Congress should set aside partisanship, ignore White House bluster and stop the inhumane practice of separating families at the border. "This is very good compromised legislation that not only solves the child separation issue at the border, it also solves the border, it solves DACA, it solves a lot of our broken immigration parts". Mark Warner, D-Virginia, said. They want open borders, which breeds awful crime. "Republicans want security. But I am working on something - it never ends!" he wrote.
Migrant children can not be held with their parents, and are kept in separate facilities maintained by the Department of Health and Human Services.
"There are now 239 children right here as a result of the Trump administration's family separation policy", he said.
The news in recent days has been dominated by searing images of children held in cages at border facilities, as well as audio recordings of young children crying for their parents - images that have sparked fury, question of morality and concern from Republicans about a negative impact on their races in November's midterm elections.
The typical stress response for human beings is to have increased levels of cortisol and other "flight or fight" hormones that normally helps to protect us from a unsafe situation, she said, but "in the instance where children are separated from their parents, the one buffer they have against these fight or flight chemicals is gone". He's now headed to the border town of Tornillo, Texas where he will meet other mayors from across the country on Thursday to attempt to gain access to the detention center at an entry-point there.