'You have to take the children away'

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"I hate it. I hate to see separation of parents and children".

President Donald Trump has doubled down on his tough immigration rhetoric, vowing to keep arresting illegal immigrants and blaming Democrats for wanting illegal immigrants to pour in as their potential voters. "Take that God damn pen of yours and do away with this horrendous, inhumane policy of yours that rips children from the arms of their parents".

"We don't have to prosecute them, but then we are not prosecuting them for coming in illegally".

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

The bill faces strong headwinds as it is opposed by Democrats, who object to another provision that would cut legal immigration levels, and conservative Republicans who are backing a rival bill that takes a harder line on immigration.

On Tuesday, he said Democrats are the problem.

Secret audio recorded at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection detention facility revealed harrowing cries from children separated from their families.

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But Trump himself put that bill in doubt.

The senator's bill would add more federal immigration judges, authorize new temporary shelters to house migrant families, speed the processing of asylum cases and require that families that cross the border illegally be kept together, absent criminal conduct or threats to the welfare of any children.

Both the House and the Senate are controlled by Republicans. The border separations are of course immoral and unconscionable. Mexico's foreign minister condemned it as "cruel and inhuman".

The uproar over the family separations appeared unlikely to facilitate a big immigration overhaul in Congress that would finally resolve deep national divisions over the issue.

Democrats say the crisis is of Trump's own making, and accuse him of using children as pawns.

All eyes are on the administration as it continues to grapple with a nationwide outcry over its "zero tolerance" policy of separating children from immigrant parents at the U.S. -Mexico border.

Trump adviser Stephen Miller told the New York Times: "All day long the American people are going to side with the party that wants to secure the border". As a result, children found making the illegal crossings along with those adults have been separated and sent to detention centers.

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The Department of Health and Human Services said there are now 11,700 children under its care in 100 shelters across 17 states.

The majority crossed the border without their parents.

US President Donald Trump is receiving a lot of flak for his family separation policy or what he likes to call "zero tolerance" immigration policy.

But activists seized on the symbolism.

"Holding children hostage in concentration camps is the new political bargaining chip of this administration and it is unconscionable", Kristen Clarke, head of the Lawyers' Committee on Civil Rights, told reporters outside the US Capitol.

Democrats have reminded Trump that he campaigned in 2016 saying "I alone can fix it", but now is punting to Congress. "He can fix it tomorrow if he wants to, and if he doesn't want to, he should own up to the fact that he's doing it", said Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of NY.

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