Stephen Miller Was Driving Force Behind Trump Family Separation Policy

Stephen Miller Was Driving Force Behind Trump Family Separation Policy

A far-right darling in the White House was the one who convinced Trump the US should separate parents from their children at the border

President Donald Trump went on a tweetstorm Monday to defend his zero-tolerance immigration policies and chew out Democrats for not helping change existing laws he says allow murderous thugs and gangs to run rampant.

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

In early May, the Trump administration made a decision to prosecute adults caught crossing the border illegally, which requires children to be separated from those adults.

While the documents don't speak to the conceptualization of the policy or the internal deliberations that preceded it, they call into question the administration's justification for the policy.

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

Laura Bush opened the salvo on Sunday with an editorial in the Washington Post, a rare public position on policy from the usually low-key first lady.

Trump and his aides have defended the new policy despite overwhelming bipartisan criticism, using the controversy as leverage to press Congress to pass stricter enforcement measures, fund construction of his proposed U.S. -Mexico border wall and even cut legal immigration. "It is immoral. And it breaks my heart", Mrs. Seven House Democrats visited a detention facility in Elizabeth, New Jersey, and said they were blocked for almost two hours before being allowed to see parents separated from their children.

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It is unprecedented for former First Lady to criticize the policies of a current president.

But while her comments may run counter to the president's, some have said they don't go almost far enough to counter false statements made by the White House and merely echo an inaccurate claim that Democrats are responsible for the separations. Susan Collins expressed concern about it and a former adviser to Trump questioned using the policy to pressure Democrats on immigration legislation.

Mrs Trump has called for Republicans and Democrats to work together on the issue.

Meanwhile, House Republicans have put together two immigration bills - a hard-right proposal and one that is a compromise between conservative and moderate Republicans.

Protesters marched to one such tent city in Tornillo, Texas, on Sunday where hundreds of children were being held without their parents.

Asked whether the president was willing to end the policy, she said: "The president is ready to get meaningful immigration reform across the board".

"I hate children being taken away". The White House has said Trump would sign either one.

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