Trump Pushes House Republicans to Fix Immigration System

As the outcry over the almost 2,000 child separations caused as a result of the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy on illegal border crossings grows, President Donald Trump doubled down on Monday down on his controversial policies and blamed them on Democrats.

Michigan Republican Rep. Fred Upton called for an immediate end to the "ugly and inhumane practice" of separation.

GOP backlash. Much of the condemnation of the "zero tolerance" policy responsible for the separations came from within the GOP, which fears the issue will cost it dearly in the midterms, the Washington Post reports.

But US attorney general Jeff Sessions told Fox News comparisons with Nazi Germany were a "real exaggeration" because the Nazis were "keeping Jews from leaving the country".

This means that the illegal entrants would now be prosecuted in federal court and not in civil court like before.

Demonstrators gather outside the Massachusetts State House in Boston to protest against the Trump administration policy.

Under previous USA administrations, undocumented immigrants caught crossing the border for the first time tended to be issued with court summonses.

The president didn't sound like a man on the verge of changing his mind, delivering a fiery speech to a small business group Tuesday defending his administration's handling of the policy and saying it's up to Congress to fix things.

At an earlier event Tuesday, Trump said he was asking Congress for "the legal authority to detain and promptly remove families together as a unit".

The family separations and detentions of children at the southern US border, highlighted by the videos of youngsters in cages and an audiotape of wailing children, have sparked an outcry at home and strong condemnation overseas.

Trump acknowledged to House Republicans that something needed to be done about family separations, a problem he called "nasty".

The bill would add more federal immigration judges, authorise new temporary shelters to house migrant families, speed the processing of asylum cases and require that families that cross the border illegally to be kept together, if there is no criminal conduct or threats to the welfare of children.

He's argued that, "politically correct or not, we have a country that needs security, that needs safety".

Former first ladies have also weighed in with Hillary Clinton calling it "a moral and humanitarian crisis". "There is no other way to say it - this is not who we are, and it must end now", said Chamber President Tom Donohue.

"Every human being with a sense of compassion and decency should be outraged", Clinton said.

A boy from the Anapra area observes a binational prayer performed by a group of religious presbyters by migrants on the border wall between Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua state, Mexico and Sunland Park, New Mexico, US, on May 3, 2018. Bush likened the policy to the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II.

Curbelo said Trump did not indicate that he's willing to use his executive powers to dial back the stepped-up enforcement policy.

Human rights group Amnesty International has also slammed the family seperation policy and called it "a spectacularly cruel" one.

Members said the range of issues Trump covered included trade, taxes and other victories for the administration. "What has happened for us to have to craft legislation to say, 'Don't pull kids out of the arms of their mothers, '" he said.

Top conservatives, including key allies of the president, have also announced they are introducing bills to stop the administration's "zero-tolerance" approach to illegal border crossings.

As a result, children are taken away from their parents, because they can not be taken to adult jails.

If the parent is being deported, ICE said it will work with ORR to reunite them with their child at the time of deportation and with the consulate representing their country to assist the parent with obtaining a travel document for the child.

  • Salvatore Jensen