Figures show about 2000 minors separated from families

President Donald Trump has calculated that he will gain political leverage in congressional negotiations by continuing to enforce a policy he claims to hate - separating immigrant parents from their young children at the southern border, according to White House officials.

On Friday, The Trump administration released new numbers on how many families have been separated at the southwest border after parents are prosecuted for coming into the USA illegally.

The administration wants to send a message, said a Republican critic of the policy, "that if you cross the border with children, your children are going to be ripped away from you".

"From the experience of previous administrations, it does not act as a deterrent to use children in this fashion", Collins said, stressing that the practice is "traumatizing" for the children, who are "innocent victims".

In May, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a "zero tolerance" policy in which all those apprehended entering the United States illegally, including those seeking asylum, would be criminally charged, which generally leads to children being separated from their parents. "If you are smuggling a child, then we will prosecute you and that child will be separated from you as required by law". The cumulative effect is a dramatic adjustment of immigration policy and practice. That was the rule, Kraft said she was told: They're not allowed to touch the children.

Meanwhile, protesters marched to a tent city in Tornillo, Texas, holding hundreds of children separated from their parents.

O'Rourke said Sunday that Congress would not pass an immigration bill "at the cost of ending family migration, which is the history of this country". "I don't think that's fair, and I don't think it's right".

Obama administration lawyers argued in federal court in Los Angeles against the separation of parents and children and in favour of keeping in family detention facilities those deemed ineligible for release. The separations were not broken down by age, and they included separations for illegal entry, immigration violations or possible criminal conduct by the adult, the Associated Press reported. Even if the House did vote on and approve impeachment, a two-thirds super-majority of senators would have to convict the president for him to be removed from office, which has never occurred in USA history.

"If we don't have Republicans who step up and say the president of the United States must stop taking babies away from their mothers, then the practice will continue", Warren said. "We are not there yet, but that is our intent". Trump said in a morning post on Twitter.

On Saturday, Collins and U.S. Sen.

"This must not be who we are as a nation", said Representative Jerrold Nadler, one of seven members of Congress from NY and New Jersey who met with five detainees inside the facility, including three who said they had young relatives removed from their care after seeking asylum at the border. "Melania can't bear to watch the footage of immigrant children being torn from their parents, she finds it extremely upsetting and heartbreaking", another source close to Melania told us.

"It's hard for me to enjoy Father's Day knowing what's happening to other children and families", he said.

"As partisan and as divisive as the whole topic of immigration is, we need to start with what's right", she said.

Customs and Border Protection provided the document to CNN during a walk-through of a border processing center in McAllen, Texas, near the US-Mexico border.

President Trump continues criticisms of former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey; reaction on 'America's News HQ'. Signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2008, the legislation ensures that unaccompanied children who arrive at the US-Mexico border are "exempt from prompt return to their home country", unless those countries are Canada or Mexico.