US First lady Melania Trump visits detained immigrant children

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Protesters packed Pittsburgh's Sixth Presbyterian Church Wednesday night to denounce the Trump administration's family separation policy, which has resulted in thousands of migrant children being separated from their families after their parents were detained for attempting to illegally enter the U.S.

As the controversy grew nationally in the past week over the administration's policy of separating children from their parents when they were detained at the southern border, administration officials, and conservative media outlets have been arguing that the living conditions of detained immigrants aren't as bad as traditional media outlets were portraying.

The first lady's visit to Upbring New Hope Children's Centre followed President Trump's signing of an executive order halting the practice of separating families.

In a sign of the broadening scope of the crisis, the Department of Health and Human Services asked the Pentagon to prepare to house up to 20,000 unaccompanied migrant children on military bases, a United States official said.

Customs and Border Protection is announcing a new practice aimed at keeping families apprehended at the border together following President Donald Trump's executive order.

The youthful jacket sharply contrasts with the first lady's typically bold, foreign-flavored wardrobe.

"She wants to see what's real", Grisham told CNN.

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"The Democrats are saying they care about the kids, they care about the DACA kids, they care about family separation, but when they're asked to vote and work together on a compromise, they're nowhere to be found", said Rep. Dave Brat, R-Va.

But a spokeswoman for the US Department of Justice said the report was inaccurate. And the Trump administration has so far not outlined any plans for reuniting children already separated from their families.

"We're going to have to release (families) under what's called the catch-and-release program", Judd said.

The House plans to vote on two bills created to halt the practice of separating families entering the United States illegally and address a range of other immigration issues.

Trump is defending his Wednesday executive order to end new family separations at the border, but says Congress needs to act to permanently fix the problem.

In Texas, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti described uncertainty about access to legal representation for immigrant families and maximum holding periods for those accused of illegally crossing the border.

A court order has put a 20-day cap on how long immigration authorities can detain minors, which has triggered fresh criticisms of President Trump's hardline immigration policy that was central to his 2016 election campaign.

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