(From AP News)
Calls are mounting on Capitol Hill for the Trump administration to end the separation of families at the southern border ahead of a visit from President Donald Trump to discuss legislation.
Trump’s meeting late Tuesday afternoon with House Republicans comes at a time when lawmakers in both parties are up in arms over the administration’s “zero tolerance” approach to illegal border crossings.
Under the policy, all unlawful crossings are referred for prosecution — a process that moves adults to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service and sends many children to facilities run by the Department of Health and Human Services. Under the previous administration, such families were usually referred for civil deportation proceedings, not requiring separation.
Nearly 2,000 children were separated from their families over a six-week period in April and May.
At a White House briefing Monday, Homeland Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen declared, “Congress alone can fix it.” That line has been echoed by others in the administration, including Trump himself, who has falsely blamed a law passed by Democrats for the “zero tolerance” approach to prosecutions of families crossing the border.