"It was a simple decision by the administration to have a zero tolerance policy for illegal entry, period".
Trump has also pointed to Democratic lawmakers as responsible for changing "forced family breakup at the Border" and falsely blamed Democrats on Twitter and in front of the press for his own administration's policy. Trump is calculating that this, yes, unconscionable policy will give him leverage in congressional negotiations on immigration reform.
Miller told The Times he supported the policy because it discouraged migrants from crossing the border illegally.
His words follow an April survey by the Public Religion Research Institute, which found that 75 percent of white evangelicals held favorable views of Trump. Evangelist Franklin Graham, son of legendary evangelist Billy Graham, last week described the splitting up of families as "disgraceful". The figure is the only one released by the goverment. "We are enforcing the laws passed by Congress", she said, calling on Congress to reform immigration laws. "The thinking in the building is to force people to the table".
"I'm looking at both of them", he said.
The president used a similar strategy a year ago as he sought to gain approval for his immigration demands by using the lure of protection for young immigrants brought to the United States as children. "And it's an effort to extort a bill to their liking in the Congress".
After that, Nielsen once again walked through the administration's wishlist for changing immigration laws - including targeting sanctuary city policies, changing the threshold for qualifying for asylum to be much higher, and reversing many protections for children allowing them to be detained for longer or deported immediately.
House Republican leaders are offering two immigration measures - a hard-line draft and written legislation billed as a compromise between the moderate and conservative factions of the party.
But controversy over DHS treatment of families continues to heat up.
For President Trump, of course, it's just politics, the pain, trauma and suffering that his administration is inflicting notwithstanding - to say nothing of the optics.
"If you cross the border unlawfully.we will prosecute you", Sessions said in May. "The focus needs to be on the welfare of these children, absent of politics".More news: At least 3 killed, 300 injured as strong quake hits Osaka
The members trying to gain entry were Democrats Rep. "They are holding the kids hostage".
Almost 2000 children were separated from their families over a six-week period in April and May after Attorney-General Jeff Sessions announced a new "zero-tolerance" policy that refers all cases of illegal entry for criminal prosecution.
Julian Castro, the former San Antonio mayor who served as Housing and Urban Development secretary in the Obama administration, joined protesters outside a border patrol processing center in McAllen, where temperatures hit 97F (36C) at mid-afternoon. "The parents are subject to prosecution while children may not be".
"There's definitely a groundswell of opposition from virtually every corner of the Christian community", said Russell Moore, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention.
The nation's homeland security chief insisted Sunday that immigrant children are not being separated from their parents at the border - despite the Trump administration defending its policy and eyewitness accounts of government-snatched boys and girls being held in cages at a private detention center in Texas.
Some senior officials think Democrats will be pressured by the policy to cut an immigration deal. "If you smuggle aliens. we will prosecute you".
In numerous cases, the families have been reunited after the parent was released from detention.
Democrats have been incorporating the plight of the separated children in their midterm election campaigns. Several other legislators, including Sen. Merkley hasn't ruled out running for president in 2020, while Van Hollen is in charge of Senate Democrats' 2018 campaign committee. "It's deeply impactful in a district like ours, where we are 40 percent Latino".
"We do not have the luxury of pretending that all individuals coming to this country as a family unit are in fact a family", she said in a speech to the National Sheriff's Association in New Orleans.