Faith leaders oppose Trump's immigration policy of separating children from parents

The new figures are for people who tried to enter the USA between official border crossings.

Almost 2,000 children have been separated from their parents and guardians and placed into holding facilities between April 19 and May 31 of this year, Department of Homeland Security spokesman Jonathan Hoffman told reporters Friday on a conference call. "That is traumatizing to children who are innocent victims".

The separation policy follows Attorney General Jeff Sessions' announcement on April 6 of a "zero-tolerance" immigration policy that includes criminally prosecuting illegal border-crossers, thus separating them from children who under US law can not be held in criminal detention centers.

Grisham's comments marked a rare public statement from Trump, who has largely shied away from the spotlight since her husband took office and has generally avoided commenting on policy.

The policy has had the effect of separating the arrested immigrants from their children. "You saw the president on camera that he wants this to end, but everybody has, Congress has to act", she said on NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday.

Realizing the emotional resonance of the issue, House Republican leaders inserted a provision to block the Department of Homeland Security from separating parents and children in an immigration bill expected to be debated this week. "Zero tolerance, it's a crime to come across illegally, and children get separated, ". "I think it's incumbent upon our elected officials to monitor this and I feel confident that once people see it and see how people are being held in virtual cages, that will stop this immoral practice".

Reuters reported that around 13 percent of family separations in the 17-month period through February were because of alleged fraud.

"The Republican establishment has spent all this money trying to get people to love the tax cut", said Bannon, adding that a top GOP donor, Charles Koch, told Republican House members, 'Hey, guys, if you run on that [tax cut] you're going to lose 40 seats'".

Some immigrant advocates have said women were being separated from their infants; Homeland Security and Justice Department denied it. "We are not there yet, but that is our intent".

The idea of such a legislative solution earned the endorsement even of President Trump's lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani, who said Sunday on CBS News's "Face the Nation" that he thought Attorney General Jeff Sessions was "not giving the president the best advice" on how to handle the situation.

O'Rourke said Sunday he's working with colleagues to introduce a bill this week in the House.

"This must not be who we are as a nation", said Representative Jerrold Nadler, one of seven members of Congress from NY and New Jersey who met with five detainees inside the facility, including three who said they had young relatives removed from their care after seeking asylum at the border.

That practice effectively "weaponizes" children, Archbishop of Miami Thomas Wenski told NPR's Weekend Edition on Saturday.

The girl had been taken from her mother the night before and brought to this shelter that had been redecorated for children under age 12, Kraft said staffers told her.

For President Trump, of course, it's just politics, the pain, trauma and suffering that his administration is inflicting notwithstanding - to say nothing of the optics.

Collins also called on her colleagues in Washington to take up legislation to address immigration reform and border security.

House Republican leaders are offering two immigration measures - a hard-line draft and written legislation billed as a compromise between the moderate and conservative factions of the party.

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