Three former USA first ladies have criticized President Donald Trump's controversial policy of separating children from their parents who have crossed the border illegally. Now, the U.S. administration has moved to prosecute anyone who seeks to enter the country illegally, which it says requires the children to be taken away. The U-S president has repeatedly stoked fears of migrant-driven crime to advance his anti-immigration agenda.
In May, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a "zero tolerance" policy in which all those apprehended entering the United States illegally, including those seeking asylum, would be criminally charged.
The Trump administration again doubled down on its policy of separating families at the border as audio of crying children in a so-called "immigration shelter" generated further outrage over the approach.
"I said, 'As a human being I can't do that, you can do that yourself, ' to which she responded that she would report me to the shift supervisor and she preceded to try to tell [the migrants] exactly that [they couldn't hug] in Spanish and English despite them speaking Portuguese", Davidson said recalling an alleged conversation with higher-ups at the center.
Michelle Brane, director of migrant rights at the Women's Refugee Commission, also visited the facility and called the experience traumatizing for the children. "We want safety and security for our country. and it starts with the border".
Unlike Trump, however, previous administrations, including that of Obama, did not have a policy of separating almost all families at the border.
"I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13, to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained them for the objective of order", Sessions said. She said immigrants will continue to seek asylum unless their home countries see major change.
"Children are not being used as a pawn", Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said at a press briefing Monday. "I hate it. I hate to see separation of parents and children".
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, a member of the Freedom Caucus, said he's skeptical that even a full-throated endorsement from Trump will be enough to get the compromise bill through the House. The U.S. can't send them back over the border unless they are Mexican citizens, and instead must refer their case to an immigration judge.
Gov. Phil Murphy said Monday that the blame lay with the president. She says, 'I promise I'll behave, but please get me out of here. The children were mostly from El Salvador and Guatemala, both violence-plagued Central American countries.
"What the administration has chose to do is to separate children from their parents to try to send a message that if you cross the border with children, your children are going to be ripped away from you", she said.
"Those kids inside who have been separated from their parents are already being traumatized", said Democratic Sen. "I, for one, believe we can".
"The separation of children from their fathers and mothers must stop immediately", said MacArthur, R-3rd Dist.
Clinton, former first lady, secretary of state and Democratic presidential nominee, said at an awards lunch for the Women's Forum of NY that the separations are not required by law and are not grounded in any religion.