First lady Melania Trump 'hates' to see families separated at border

About 2,000 children have been separated from their families at the border over a six-week period during a crackdown on illegal entries Occupants at Casa Padre an immigrant shelter for unaccompanied minors in Brownsville Texas are seen in this

"I can assure you we'll be fighting to the end to stop this ugly, vile programme that is harming children and creating massive child abuse".

"As partisan and as divisive as the whole topic of immigration is, we need to start with what's right", she said.

"We're studying the proposal", said Arizona Rep. Martha McSally, who is viewed as the GOP establishment's favorite in one of the top Senate races.

Melania Trump's statement echoed the president's words Friday, when he told reporters that "I hate the children being taken away". Should the First Lady speak out on policy matters?

His demand for building a border wall was a constant campaign theme, and he has lately referred to some immigrants, particularly gang members, as "animals".

Roughly 2,000 children have reportedly been separated from their parents so far, and authorities say the number could soon double.

The wall on the USA border with Mexico was Trump's signature campaign promise, but since taking office, he has been unable to get more than token funding from Congress for the project. The administration put the policy in place and could easily end it after it has led to a spike in cases of split and distraught families. The facility was erected as other facilities reach capacity, due to the Trump administration's "Zero Tolerance" policy.

Her eyes swollen, she cried when she asked a paralegal what she most wanted to know: When could she see her son again?

The situation now is "inhumane" and "un-American", he said.

Immigration is one of the most divisive issues roiling American politics. Trump has claimed repeatedly that while it pains him to watch children wrenched from their mothers, it's only Democratic intransigence that prevents him from ending a policy he personally put into motion, and could halt at any time. "And reuniting them with their families would reaffirm America's belief in & support for all parents who love their children", he tweeted.

Trump's former chief strategist said Republicans would face steep consequences for pushing the compromise bill because it provides a path to citizenship for young "Dreamer" immigrants brought to the country illegally as children.

Parents have since been arrested and placed in quick federal court proceedings near the border.

The administration wants to send a message, said Maine Senator Susan Collins, a Republican critic of the policy, "that if you cross the border with children, your children are going to be ripped away from you".

"Stop lying to the American people".

"If you cross this border unlawfully, then we will prosecute you". Apply to enter lawfully.

In addition to those trying to cross on their own, large crowds of immigrants are gathered at border crossings each day to seek asylum.

Critics of USA government policy which separates children their parents when they cross the border illegally from Mexico protest during a "Families Belong Together March", in downtown Los Angeles on June 14. US protocol prohibits detaining children with their parents because the children are not charged with a crime and the parents are. There's a limit on how long children can be held before being transferred to a licensed family facility. During the Obama and Bush administration, most undocumented immigrants who were caught at the border were released pending a hearing - which many never showed up for. Almost 60,000 children were placed in government-contracted shelters in the 2014 fiscal year.

In a Father's Day demonstration on Sunday, seven Democrat members of Congress from NY and New Jersey joined hundreds of protesters outside an immigration detention facility in New Jersey to protest the separations.

They chanted "Families united!" and "Free our children now!", reported NPR.

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