Trump responds to immigrant child crisis by ramping up rhetoric

MCALLEN, Texas (AP) - Demonstrators led rallies and protests on Saturday to decry the separation of immigrant parents from their children by U.S. border authorities, while Democratic lawmakers said they aren't convinced the Trump administration has any real plan to reunite them.

One public law office in Texas has said state prosecutors would be dismissing cases in which parents were charged with illegally entering the country and separated from their children, while in the border city of McAllen, 17 immigrants have been unexpectedly let off without any charges.

An attorney in Texas has been trying to reunite parents at an immigration detention facility with their children after USA authorities separated them on the southwest border. Marr said Colyer "stands behind the president and his executive order" ending separations.

"Once you end up talking with one parent they tell you that there are 70 other parents in their dorm that are also separated and can I help them", she said, adding that immigration authorities had asked her to share the information so they could assist. "The word "permanently" being the word that you have to think about".

Bombarded with criticism condemning the family-separation situation as a national moment of shame, Trump came back firing, sometimes twisting facts and changing his story but nonetheless highlighting the genuine grief of families on the other side of the equation.

They said Customs and Border Protection officials argued forcefully that agents who are apprehending migrant families at the border can not refer all the adults for prosecution because the Justice Department does not have the resources to accept all the cases.

The bill set to be voted on next week would provide US$25 billion for Trump's long-sought border wall, offer a pathway to citizenship to young undocumented immigrants known as "dreamers" and keep migrant families together in detention centres.

"It's very hard to reunite children with their parents because these government agencies were not prepared, and they're not designed, for family separation", said Efren Olivares, a lawyer with the Texas Civil Rights Project that represents 381 migrant parents.

Alcala said he also wants to know whether immigrant children are being mixed with troubled youth.

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One Angel mother, Laura Wilkerson, took the stage following the president's remarks, describing the loss of her 18-year-old son Josh in 2010.

What is unclear, though, is whether the president realizes the moderate Republicans he is alienating by shunning their immigration overhaul are among those most endangered in the midterm elections.

"Where is the media outrage over the catch-and-release policies that allow deadly drugs to pour into our country?"

His advice is likely to kill current efforts to pass a measure that had little chance of succeeding.

California Congressman Jackie Speier says, "It is, for all intents and purposes, a prison". The Justice Department wanted the prosecutions to continue.

The false claim appears to stem from a January 2016 Senate subcommittee report that investigated how the Department of Health and Human Services, under the Obama administration, placed thousands of unaccompanied children illegally entering the country. At the somber event at the White House complex on Friday, Trump introduced the families, who delivered heartbreaking tales of their loved ones' lives and, at times, gruesome descriptions of their deaths. "Your loss will not have been in vain", he told the group.

The Times report references a study from the Cato Institute, a libertarian organization. The hotline handled a total of 4,602 calls including general comments. But the mayor of San Diego, Kevin Faulconer, is a Republican who did not provide a tip; a mayor who did was Libby Schaaf, a Democrat from Oakland, .

Lemire reported from NY.

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