Almost 2,000 children separated from adults at border

Since then, the administration has been steadily eroding protections for immigrant children and families.

Seven House Democrats made a surprise visit to a detention facility in Elizabeth, New Jersey, on Sunday, on the US Father's Day, and said they were blocked for almost two hours before finally being allowed to see the parents who had been separated from their children.

After Pope Francis tweeted "Woe to anyone who stifles [children's] joyful impulse to hope", Steve Bannon responds: "The Pope - more than anyone else - has driven the migrant crisis in Europe. the Catholic Church is one of the worst instigators of this open borders policy".

By COLLEEN LONG, Associated Press - Nearly 2,000 minors have been separated from their families at the USA border over a six-week period during a crackdown on illegal entries, according to Department of Homeland Security figures obtained by The Associated Press.

Bannon said he thinks exactly that. Pope Francis posted a tweet last week that some interpreted as referring to the new US practice of placing migrant children in centers separate from their parents.

Nearly 2,000 children were separated from their families over a six-week period in April and May.

Among the parents caught up in the new rules is 29-year-old Vilma Aracely Lopez Juc de Coc, who fled her home in a remote Guatemalan village after her husband was beaten to death in February, according to advocates.

A two-year-old Honduran asylum seeker cries as her mother is searched and detained near the US-Mexico border on June 12 in McAllen, Texas. The asylum-seekers were then sent to a customs processing centre for possible separation.

It was Bush, who had firsthand experience with the border as governor of Texas and ran for president as a "compassionate conservative", who initiated the zero-tolerance approach for illegal immigration on which Trump's policy is modelled.

Her eyes swollen, she cried when she asked a paralegal what she most wanted to know: When could she see her son again?

Children can not be jailed in federal prisons so they are placed in shelters that have long existed for unaccompanied immigrant children arriving on the border alone. "Trump and Sessions say they are following laws".

Sessions described the policy as created to be a deterrant to illegal immigration, announcing "If you don't like that, then don't smuggle children over our border".

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders cited the Bible to defend a border policy that has separated children from their parents.

Children are being forced away from their parents after entering the U.S. border.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the plan in April, and expounded on it in May, saying his Department of Justice would partner with Homeland Security to prosecute anyone illegally crossing the southwest border and separate children from parents.

Parents have since been arrested and placed in quick federal court proceedings near the border. Not only could they not pick up or touch the children; they could not get their parents for them.

The first lady's appeal comes during heated debate over the Trump administration's policy of separating children from their families on the border. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said Sunday that the number "may well be higher" than that. Greenberg, now with the Migration Policy Institute, says there is a careful process to determine how to place unaccompanied children, most of whom come here from three countries - Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.

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