Fact check: Are Democrats responsible for DHS separating children from their parents?

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US President Donald Trump went on the defensive Tuesday after liberals attacked his administration's policy on child immigrants - by sharing photos taken during Barack Obama's presidency of immigrant minors at the US-Mexico border sleeping in steel cages.

"They thought it was recent pictures in order to make us look bad, but backfires".

Trump tweeted "Democrats mistakenly tweet 2014 pictures from Obama's term showing children from the Border in steel cages". "I wonder what #SundayMorning is like for the parents of 1500 lost children your father is responsible for".

That lie - expressed in a weekend tweet - blamed Democrats for a "horrible law" that separated immigrant children from their parents at the border.

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It's unclear why they resurfaced on social media, but Trump took to Twitter Tuesday to condemn Democrats for spreading false information about immigration.

As those cruel realities emerge in dreary headlines, it is no wonder that the president, who has demonized immigrants since the first day of his campaign, suddenly doesn't want to brag about his own administration's immigration policy. But among those who took notice was Jon Favreau, Obama's former speechwriter. Instead, the Department of Health and Human Services had placed them, along with thousands of others who showed up at the border as unaccompanied children, with sponsors in the United States, usually parents or close relatives.

The administration noted Tuesday that it isn't allowed to send back children from non-contiguous countries under the 2008 Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act, and was instead required to quickly find them USA sponsors until their cases could be heard.

"The loopholes that they fight so hard to protect are the source" of the controversy, said Stephen Miller, the president's top adviser on immigration policy, referring to Democrats.

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But, as HHS officials testified before a Senate subcommittee in April, efforts to follow up on the status of those resettled children have been stymied by the reluctance of sponsoring families to return government phone calls.

He added: "Today, in 2018, the government is CREATING unaccompanied minors by tearing them away from family at the border".

"These terrible pictures are from 2014, when the government's challenge was reconnecting unaccompanied minors who showed up at the border with family or a safe sponsor".

In early May, the Department of Justice announced plans to separate family members at the U.S. -Mexico border, marking a shift in a long-held immigration policy which allowed parents and children to remain together while their cases were being processed.

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"If you are smuggling a child then we will prosecute you, and that child will be separated from you as required by law", Sessions said in May. It was created to accommodate an influx of children fleeing to the USA from Central America.