US official says agency warned family separation bad for kids

Trump threatens to ‘shut down’ government if Dems don’t support border measures

Central American migrants sit atop a US-Mexico border fence at Border Field State Park California

"I don't think it would be helpful, so let's try to avoid it", Republican Senator Ron Johnson, chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, said on CBS' "Face the Nation".

The witnesses all sat silently.

Families that crossed the U.S. border illegally are kept in facilities that resemble "summer camp", a top immigration official said Tuesday. Numerous children have been accused by immigration officials of belonging to MS-13 and other violent gangs, an activity Trump has used to justify his "zero tolerance" policy of prosecuting immigrants caught entering the country without permission.

White pointed to agencies" predictions that prying families apart would have the "potential for traumatic psychological injury' to children. "Thank you, and please look at the previous administrations record - not good!" That pain would be inflicted?

And lawmakers on both sides agreed on Tuesday that the US should never return to a policy of forcibly separating children from their parents.

Finally, the Department of Justice official, McHenry, said the zero tolerance policy memorandum was issued by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

When Graham asked Albence directly how many parents released on parole appear at their immigration hearings, admitted he did know the exact number but asserted inaccurately that it is "a small percentage".

But the judge, in a court hearing Friday, said there are still hundreds of other parents who weren't in government custody who must now be tracked down.

He also wants changes to legal immigration, including scrapping a visa lottery program.

"I think the best way to describe them is to be more like a summer camp", Albence told the panel, as he described "24/7" access to fresh food and water, educational classes, outdoor recreational opportunities and exercise.

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The administration can, however, keep some families with children detained indefinitely while leaving Flores intact - by asking parents who wish to remain together with their children to waive their child's Flores rights to be in a detention center longer than 20 days.

'Can anyone tell me?' Blumenthal demanded.

"Who is responsible for zero tolerance or family separation?"

"What went wrong is the children separated from their parents were referred as unaccompanied alien children when in fact they were accompanied", he said, describing some of the communication issues that forced members of his team to sort by hand through the more than 12,000 files of migrant children in government custody to determine which ones arrived with parents.

"Give us the authority to hold the family as a family unit during the pendency of their immigration removal proceedings", ICE Executive Associate Director Matthew Albence said. Democrats believe most families should be released into the country as they await their day in court. Sabraw showered White with praise for his reunification plan, and for his willingness to accept the "undisputed facts that have led to this hard situation" and the "responsibility" of the government to fix it.

Some 2,500 children were separated from their parents as part of Republican President Donald Trump's "zero tolerance" policy towards illegal immigration.

Cmdr. Jonathan White of the U.S. Public Health Service, which has helped in the reunification of families, testified that it is his "heartfelt conviction that we must reunify these children with their parents".

When asked how many of those immigrants were not deported because they won their asylum case, ICE said it did not track that data.

"Although the administration mishandled the family separations, it's also important to remember that this institution, the Congress, also deserves its fair share of blame", said Sen.

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