DHS reports about 2000 minors separated from families

U.S. Border Patrol agents take a father and son from Honduras into custody near the U.S.-Mexico border on June 12 near Missio

The US attorney general defended the Trump administration's immigration policies during a speech in IN on Thursday, saying it was not about "being mean" to children.

United States (US) officials have confirmed that in the last six weeks almost 2,000 migrant children were separated from their families at the US-Mexico border.

The policy to refer all adults for charges was publicly announced on May 7, though the Justice Department announced it would prosecute 100 per cent of the cases referred to it at the beginning of April.

The Department of Homeland Security have said children are well cared for after being separated from their parents, with officials disputing reports of disorder and mistreatment. The agency, he says, "initially seeks to determine if the child has a parent in this country, and if not a parent a close relative, and if not a close relative a more distant relative or a family friend".

President Donald Trump, facing mounting anger over his administration's "zero tolerance" border security policy, repeated he is incensed about the family separations but continued to blame opposition Democrats for the crisis, which critics say is one of his own making.

The children are put into the care of the US Department of Health and Human Services, and some are transferred to government facilities or foster care during the separation.

A protest in Los Angeles earlier this month against the US government's policy to separate children from their parents trying to cross the US-Mexico border illegally.

According to Hoffman, the call was large to defend the administration's decision to charge every adult caught crossing the border illegally with federal crimes, as opposed to referring those with children mainly to immigration courts, as previous administrations did.

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"This administration has made it clear that we are not going to ignore the law any longer", the official said.

Meanwhile, congressional Republicans have struggled to craft a viable immigration plan.

In English and Spanish, it states: "We are and always will be a nation of immigrants".

The bill, a compromise between moderates and conservatives, is expected to be voted on next week. United States protocol prohibits detaining children with their parents because the children are not charged with a crime, while the parents are.

His remark sent legislators on Capitol Hill scrambling, but the White House later said the president had misspoken and he would back both measures.

On Twitter, Trump addressed what he specifically wants in new legislation including "full funding for the Wall;" an end to a diversity visa lottery and certain categories of family-based migration; and a shift toward "merit-based immigration" for skilled workers.

Democrats went on the counterattack, with top House Democrat Nancy Pelosi calling the Republican proposal "simply unworthy of America".

Mr Sessions said having children would not shield border-crossing migrants from prosecution.

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