Michigan receiving detained immigrant children as young as 3 months old | TheHill
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said that the Obama administration also separated families as well as previous administrations.
For days, Trump and his top administration officials were unwilling to unilaterally reverse the separation policy and insisted that congressional action was required.
Former President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden both denounced the Trump administration's "zero-tolerance" policy that is contributing to the high number of children being separated from their families by the United States government once they illegally cross the border.
The first lady urged the president to work with Congress on a legislative solution to the issue or do "a nything he could do on his own" to end the practice, Melania's spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, told The Wall Street Journal.
US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) operates two large detention centres for families in Texas and a smaller one in Pennsylvania, but their combined capacity is about 3000 beds.
President Donald Trump's immigration executive order attempts to solve one contentious action - the separation of families - but will bring back another - locking them up together indefinitely. Many professionals are anxious about what is happening to the more than 2,300 youngsters who have been separated from their parents by the Trump administration.
Cruz's bill would double the number of federal immigration judges, authorize new temporary shelters to house migrant families and limit the processing of asylum cases to no more than 14 days - a goal immigrant advocates say would be hard to meet.
Trump: Will sign ‘something’ to keep families together
But passage of the House bill remains in doubt even after President Donald Trump met with lawmakers this week to support an immigration fix.
He said his order would not end the "zero-tolerance" policy that criminally prosecutes all adults caught crossing the border illegally.
Democrats welcomed Trump's apparent change of course but said he had only himself to blame.
Every day, child welfare agencies across America make hard decisions to separate children from their parents. The children are taken to shelters around the country while case workers try to find them suitable sponsors.
"The Obama administration, the Bush administration all separated families", Nielsen told reporters during the White House press briefing on Monday.
The Trump administration has come under attack by religious leaders, Democrats and Republicans as reports surfaced that more than 2,000 children have been separated from their families since the Department of Homeland Security initiated a "zero tolerance" policy.
The compromise bill in the House shifts away from the nation's longtime preference for family immigration to a new system that prioritizes entry based on merits and skills.
Trump's climbdown came after he faced intense pressure from across the political spectrum and from religious, political and world leaders to halt the separations, which produced days of heartrending news coverage of crying children - some of whom were kept in cage-like detention centers.
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2nd Kansas sheriff's deputy dies after shooting
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