Distraught child migrants heard in audio published by ProPublica

Distraught child migrants heard in audio published by ProPublica

That amount, which matches the current estimate for complete funding for the wall, is even greater than the $18 billion Trump previously requested during a failed effort to get wall funding in exchange for protection of undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S.as children, known as Dreamers.

This has led to parents being separated from their children, who are not charged with a crime.

But a defiant Trump sounded unfazed by the mounting pressure to alleviate the situation before it ruptures into a public relations disaster for his party.

He added, "Can you imagine the graft that must take place?" "We want ultimately a merit-based system where people come in based on merit".

After his remarks, the president raised eyebrows by walking across the stage, arms outstretched, and embracing a USA flag.

Democrats have accused the President of using children as hostages in the dispute.

"Democrats are the problem". John Cornyn of Texas.

Some 2,000 migrant children have been separated from their parents in the past few months after their families tried to cross the USA border illegally.

Both bills were offered as alternatives in case broader GOP immigration legislation heading for a vote this week fails, as is likely. "I'm confident that if Washington turns down the political rhetoric and both parties are willing to work together, we can find a solution that keeps families together as we determine how to move forward".

While Democrats like Nancy Pelosi blasted such treatment as "barbaric" and some Republicans also voiced concerns, Nielsen and other Trump administration officials have said the separations are necessary to enforce immigration laws, and that it falls to Congress to change the laws.

The United Nations has slammed the separation practice as unconscionable, while Amnesty International blasted it as "nothing short of torture". If separations occur, Homeland Security would have to provide clear guidelines for how parents can contact their kids.

"For someone saying these children aren't hostages, it's tough to call them guests", said a top aide to Senate Republicans who was briefed on the President's demands.

"Dems' Keep Families Together Act is better called the Child Trafficking Encouragement Act", tweeted Cotton. Election analysts say the race is essentially a toss-up between him and his Democratic opponent, Josh Harder, who called the administration's policy "barbaric".

At a detention centre in McAllen, Texas, hundreds of immigrant children were waiting in a series of cages created by metal fencing.

As he prepared to head to Congress on Tuesday afternoon to debate the "zero tolerance" policy introduced in April, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the state will sue the Trump administration "for violating the Constitutional rights of immigrant children and their families who have been separated at the border". Children are ripped from the arms of their mothers; they wail for Papa without answer; they are caged.

What's heard in the audio are presumed Central American children wailing and sobbing for their parents. He said he supported the bill, I guess. He then claimed that children are essentially "quarantined" by the Department of Health and Human Services.

The majority crossed the border without their parents.

To address the rise of families being separated at the border, the measure proposes keeping children in detention with their parents, undoing 2-decade-old rules that limit the time minors can be held in custody.

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