17 states sue Trump administration over family separations

Authorities Abandon 'Zero-Tolerance' for Immigrant Families

Zero tolerance policy After receiving backlash from immigrants, Democrats and Republicans, President Donald Trump signed an executive order on June 20 to end the practice of separating parents from their children after being arrested.

The organization Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights is holding what it calls a "hunger strike and prayer chain" over a 24-day period to honor an estimated 2,400 children separated from parents because of President Donald Trump's "zero tolerance" policy for immigrants who enter the USA illegally at the Mexican border.

A USA judge in San Diego already is considering whether to issue a nationwide injunction sought by the American Civil Liberties Union that would order the administration to reunite the separated children with their parents.

Later, protesters gathered outside the hotel where Sessions was scheduled to speak.

"The unfortunate reality is that under the present system, migrant children are not accounted for with the same efficiency and accuracy as property", Sabraw said. Congress has struggled mightily with immigration legislation, most recently this week when a comprehensive "compromise" bill went down to defeat in the House.

"As shocking as it sounds, we have always had infants at our care", he said, adding that babies are sometimes found abandoned at the border.

McAleenan's remarks follow an announcement last week by the federal public defender's office in El Paso that federal prosecutors would no longer bring criminal charges against parents entering the US if they have their child with them. Some boys and girls were housed in tents in the state of Texas, near the Mexican border.

But precious few families have been reunited, and the Trump administration has disclosed nearly no information on how the process will be carried out or how long it will take.

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"I think there is very, very powerful consensus on both sides of the aisle that reunification should be done immediately", Blumenthal said. In the case of dividing and traumatizing parents and children, that threshold has been crossed. There was no mention of Trump himself by name, but said the US should show its mortality "through our policies, our laws, our actions and our votes".

The current total of 2,047 children in HHS shelters compares with the 2,053 the agency reported as of last Wednesday. A facility administrator told reporters that the main complaint he hears from children on site is that the tents get too cold sometimes.

He told the audience that lax border enforcement would "encourage more adults to bring more children illegally".

Reporters were not allowed to enter any tents holding children.

The Health and Human Services inspector general's office says it's launching a wide-ranging review of conditions at shelters for migrant children.

"Neither the order nor the administration's Flores application offers any assurance that the Administration will not return to a family separation policy when its efforts to intern families together fail", the states said in their suit.

Justice Department officials have asked a federal judge to amend a class-action settlement that governs how children are treated in immigration custody. If the children are younger than 5, they must be reunited with their families within 14 days of the order.

Grisham said there was no message being sent, only to be contradicted by President Trump, who tweeted out that she was targeting the "fake news media." Trump administration officials are seeking to detain them together indefinitely as their cases progress.

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