Steve Bannon defends Trump administration's 'zero tolerance' border policy

2,000 families separated at US border in six weeks

"If the Democrats are serious, and if a lot of Republicans are serious, they'll come together".

White House officials are unable to cite any part of US law that dictates the separations, which were initiated in April after Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced "zero tolerance" for unlawful border crossings.

She also echoed an argument made by President Donald Trump that it's in the hands of Congress to make the change.

"The administration shows no sign of backing down from its policy of separating children from their parents despite powerful new condemnation from faith leaders", Tom Jawetz, vice president for immigration policy at progressive group Center for American Progress, told Agence France-Presse (AFP). His clear-eyed strategy is to use the separated children as pawns to extract concessions from Democrats on an immigration package that would include money for Trump's border wall and cuts to legal immigration, among other measures.

'As a mother, as a Catholic, as somebody who's got a conscience, ' she said on NBC's 'Meet the Press, ' I will tell you that nobody likes this policy'.

According to reporting by The Washington Post, White House officials said President Donald Trump has calculated he will gain leverage in congressional negotiations by enforcing a policy he claims to hate.

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He said that he hated to see the separation of children and their parents trying to enter the country illegally or through the use of loopholes in the asylum laws. "And it's on all of us - not just the Trump administration - it's on all of us", O'Rourke said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union".

Meanwhile, disturbing accounts of the trauma wrought by the family-separation policy keep flooding in. "Thanks Matt", she said, without elaborating.

Bannon also predicted that Republicans would lose seats in the November elections if they passed a compromise bill that would allow a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who came to the children.

"The Democrats are forcing the breakup of families at the Border with their frightful and cruel legislative agenda", Trump said on Twitter.

Mr Trump has blamed a law "Democrats gave us" for the policy, but it is unclear what law he is referring to.

The Trump administration's move to separate immigrant parents from their children on the U.S. -Mexico border has grabbed attention around the world, drawn scorn from human-rights organizations and overtaken the immigration debate in Congress.

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But prolonged separation and detention risks traumatizing children who are already fleeing nightmarish situations in their home countries, said Luis Zayas, a psychiatry professor at the University of Texas. "And so he went to a zero tolerance policy. I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained them for the objective of order".

Media reports say while the adults are charged and detained, the children travelling with them are separated and classed as unaccompanied minors.

Almost 2,000 minors were separated from their parents or adult guardians who illegally crossed into the United States over a recent 6-week period, officials said Friday, June 15, as debate raged over how to end the deeply controversial practice.

Most of the occupants are believed to have been in the USA without permission.

In a tweet Saturday morning, the president bashed Democrats for obstructing a GOP immigration bill that would stop the separation of families on the border, provide protection for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients, and provide funding for a border wall. The proposed fix won approval from moderate House Republicans locked in hard re-election battles, but not from Republican Senate candidates running competitive races in GOP-leaning states.

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The DHS official also rejected as "not true" various reports of wrongdoing, including the turning away of some asylum-seekers. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told reporters on Thursday that she sees "no prospects" for a legislative fix.

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