Published: Wed, June 20, 2018
Global Media | By Derrick Guzman

‘Papa! Papa!’ Audio of children crying for parents stokes rage over separation

‘Papa! Papa!’ Audio of children crying for parents stokes rage over separation

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.

About 2,000 children have been separated from their parents or guardians over six weeks, according to United States authorities, since the Trump administration announced that all migrants illegally crossing the Mexican border would be arrested, regardless of whether the adults were seeking asylum.

Almost 2,000 children were separated from their families over a six-week period in April and May after Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the new "zero-tolerance" policy that refers all cases of illegal entry for criminal prosecution.

Under the policy, adults who try to cross into the USA illegally, many of whom plan to seek asylum, are placed in custody and undergo criminal prosecution.

There is no US law requiring that the children of immigrants entering the country illegally be separated from their parents.

Democrats and some in Mr Trump's own Republican Party have admonished the administration for dividing almost 2,000 children from their parents between mid-April and the end of May.

On Monday, at a White House event billed as a meeting of the president's National Space Council, much of the president's remarks focused on the immigration debate where he once again faulted Democrats for the administration's policy.

"She believes we need to be a country that follows all laws, but also a country that governs with heart", her spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham told CNN.

"I think we need to fix the problem, it requires a legislative solution", McConnell said.

Attorneys at the hearings said the immigrants had brought two dozen boys and girls with them to the USA, and the judge replied that he didn't know what would happen to their children.

Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings, the top Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, pleaded with Republicans on the panel to end what he called "internment camps".

Henrietta Fore, an American who has headed UNICEF since earlier this year, said separation of families and detention are "traumatic experiences" for children that can leave them more vulnerable to abuse.

"As everyone who has looked at this agrees, this was done by the president, not Democrats. It's so sad. And it can be taken care of quickly and beautifully and we'll have safety".

After being pressed on his stance on family separations, he responded, "No one supports separating children, but no one supports people coming in without the value of having the law behind them". "These images are eerily reminiscent of the Japanese American internment camps of World War II, now considered to have been one of the most shameful episodes in US history".

"It so challenges the conscience of our country that it must be changed and must be changed immediately, " she said during a news conference at a San Diego terminal that is connected to the airport in Tijuana, Mexico, by a bridge.

Sen. Chris Van Hollen was flying back from a weekend trip to Texas, where he inspected facilities on the front lines of the Trump administration policy.

House Republicans scrambled to update their approach ahead of a visit from President Donald Trump to discuss a broader immigration overhaul that is to be voted on this week.

In the Senate, Republican Senator Ted Cruz, who ran unsuccessfully against Trump in 2016 for their party's presidential nomination, said he would introduce legislation this week to halt family separations.

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