Published: Sat, June 23, 2018
Worldwide | By Victor Meyer

Most vulnerable Republicans in 2018 taking heat over family separation

Most vulnerable Republicans in 2018 taking heat over family separation

Trump had repeatedly defended his immigration crackdown, including forcibly separating migrant children from their parents after they crossed the border.

"The Trump Administration must reverse its policy of prosecuting vulnerable people fleeing three of the most unsafe countries on earth, who are attempting to seek safe haven in America".

"So we will be officially postponing the congressional picnic for tomorrow".

Democrats said the images of children being held in cages in border facilities, some crying for their parents, would be a moment remembered in USA history.

Trump said there was a need to sustain his "zero tolerance" policy to prevent crime, which he blames illegal immigrants for.

The spectacular about-face comes after more than 2,300 children were stripped from their parents and adult relatives after illegally crossing the border since May 5 and placed in tent camps and other facilities, with no way to contact their relatives.

As Mr Trump walked out of the closed-door meeting in the Capitol basement, he was confronted by about a half-dozen House Democrats, who yelled, "Stop separating our families!" "And they are going for the country extremely well", the president said.

"I didn't like the sight or the feeling of families being separated", Trump said.

Trump said during a White House meeting with members of Congress that, "We want to keep families together". Trump's daughter Ivanka thanked her father on Twitter for "taking critical action ending family separation at our border".

"It's about keeping families together while at the same time being sure that we have a very powerful, very strong border", Trump told reporters after signing the order in the Oval Office.

Democrats have gone all-in to draw attention to the family separations.

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The family separation issue has provoked huge criticism of Donald Trump and his immigration crackdown, even from those who are generally on his side with regards to the issue.

Leaders in both the House and Senate are struggling to shield the party's lawmakers from the public outcry over images of children taken from migrant parents and held in cages at the border.

Coffman's opponent, Democrat Jason Crow, said his campaign is holding a protest outside a US Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility in Aurora on Wednesday, where he'll read Coffman's voting record and the Republican's own words from previous immigration debates.

A new CNN poll out Monday found that 67% of Americans oppose the separation of children from their parents, with 68% of independent voters disapproving of Trump's position.

House Republican Mario Diaz-Balart said the priority of ending the separations has been slotted into a compromise bill now under consideration and favored by GOP moderates. Because any illegal border crossing is prosecuted, parents and children are separated during the legal process.

House Republican leaders and more than two dozen lawmakers traveled to the White House on Wednesday afternoon in hopes of rallying support for broader immigration legislation that appeared short of the votes needed. A particularly harrowing account told of parents being informed that their child was being taken away for a bath - only to be told half an hour later that they would not see them again.

A 2015 court order now prevents the federal government from detaining children with their parents in detention centers for more than 20 days. Those include the Flores settlement and other laws that prevent migrant children from being detained for extended periods after they're caught illegally crossing the border.

Representative Kristi Noem said Mr Trump told politicians he "would continue to support the legislation, and that people shouldn't be anxious that he would change his mind". Ted Cruz, R-Texas, that would allow detained families to stay together in custody while expediting their hearings and possible deportation proceedings.

Parents who wish for their children to remain in the country with a relative who sponsors that child may do so, Bennett said, especially if the child intends to make an immigration claim such as an asylum petition.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said Wednesday morning that the House will vote on immigration legislation, despite signs that the bills up for consideration can not pass.

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