The policy has sparked widespread backlash, particularly after ProPublica published audio of almost a dozen immigrant children sobbing and crying for their parents while being held in an immigration detention facility, as U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents mocked them. ABC News' Marcus Moore, who visited the Rio Grand Valley centralized processing center in McAllen, Texas, on Sunday, said about 200 protesters had gathered outside the facility chanting "No estan solos", or "You are not alone".
Nielsen's defense of separating children from their parents at the border came amid a growing protest, from both Republicans and Democrats. During Monday's briefing, Nielsen, too, called upon Congress to close so-called loopholes in order to fix the situation at the border.
Her "Be Best" platform, unveiled in May, is dedicated to children's well-being. It is historic, with some countries the most risky places in the world.
After dismissing details about the policy as "misreporting" on Sunday and claiming that DHS does not have such a policy at all, Nielsen backtracked on Monday by defending the policy and suggesting that her team is simply doing their "job" at the border and enforcing the law.More news: McDonald's is testing plastic straw alternative in the US
Attorney General Jeff Sessions detailed the "zero-tolerance" policy in a speech on May 7, saying immigrants who illegally enter the USA along the Mexican border would be prosecuted criminally.
Congressmen Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), Frank Pallone, (D-NJ), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Adriano Espaillat (D-NY), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), and Albio Sires (D-NJ) stand inside of a Homeland Security facility in Elizabeth, New Jersey on June 17, 2018. People have pleaded guilty to the immigration charges but had the very valid questions about what happens to their children.
She cited a 314 percent increase in adults showing up with children who are not part of their family.
Many others in Washington and around the country said the Trump White House is going too far.
John Moore/Getty ImagesA Honduran mother with her daughter shortly before they are separated at the US-Mexico border.
Yet since Donald Trump took office, several ICE field offices have been denying parole to almost all immigrants found to have credible fear, according to data obtained by several groups who are suing the government over the practice.More news: Meghan 'cried' about her father missing wedding, Thomas Markle says
"I think that they reflect the focus of those who post such pictures and narratives", she said.
"You saw the president (say) on camera that he wants this to end", she added.
Both bills would provide legal status to hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children, make sweeping changes to legal immigration, and boost US border security.
"Stop lying to the American people". "You know this, as many of you have detention facilities of your own".
He will travel to Capitol Hill as Democrats hurl charges of "barbaric" treatment of children and his fellow Republicans move tentatively toward legislation that would curb, if not entirely halt, the practice of separating families.More news: China's Xi praises North Korea's Kim for Trump summit, promises support