HHS officials warned against family separations

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

The tweets were in response to attacks on the USA government's family separation policy, which saw thousands of minors separated from their parents who entered the United States illegally. -Mexican border illegally, while others had sought asylum.

A Department of Health and Human Services official says his agency warned the Trump administration that separating migrant families at the border would be unsafe for children. Recently, he drew flak by separating illegal immigrant children from their parents at the US-Mexico border.

The latest number of immigrant children who remain in detention and apart from their parents stands at 711, according to the Department of Homeland Security. Democrats and some Republicans have objected to those proposals.

A federal judge on Friday urged the USA government to focus on finding deported immigrant parents whose children remain in the United States. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has reported 1,310 cases of sexual abuse against detainees from 2013 to 2017, the report said. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee in opening a hearing to review the family separation policy.

The defensive comments from Trump officials dumbfounded Democratic members of the committee, such as Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont, who charged that the Trump administration had created a situation at the border that was like a Kafka novel, suggesting that children's entertainment venue Chuck E. Cheese had a better system for preventing children from being separated from their parents than the USA government. And it's especially unsuited for recently reunited families, many with children "exhibiting signs of anxiety, introversion, regression and other mental health issues" as a outcome of forced separation. They had to split up families so they could enforce immigration laws passed by Congress, they argued.

There are now 334 immigration judges, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions has tried to hire 84 more in the past year and is trying to hire even more. "Immigrant families and children kept in federal custody deserve to be treated with basic human dignity and respect and should never be subjected to these forms of abuse", they wrote.

Matthew Albence, an executive associate director of ICE's Enforcement arm, said "rigorous standards" are applied at the facilities, with officers monitoring migrants held as residents, calling the conditions "more like a summer camp" than anything else due to ample food, water, education and recreational activities. "I'm very comfortable with the level of service and protection that is being provided" in these centers, Albence said. He then said the best way to describe the centers would be to liken them to "summer camp".

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Some migrants separated from their children have said they did not understand what they were signing.

And while the administration has not yet announced whether it will appeal Gee's ruling and continue to fight in court to overturn Flores, Albence said Tuesday that they are keeping that door open and exploring their legal options. Sabraw indicated that he appreciated the offer, but emphasized that "no matter how nice the environment is, it's the act of separation from a parent, particularly with young children, that matters, and it's time that is the issue".

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".

"The law is not ambiguous", Provost said.

"This is a wall of shame, and we don't want any part of it", Democratic Assemblyman Phil Ting said.

"This started with the bright idea of somebody in the White House", said Durbin, who called on Nielsen to resign. "Someone, someone in this administration has to accept responsibility".

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