No problem to shut down government - Ireland

Crowds March Through New York City to Protest Border Separations

Hundreds of children still remain separated.

"During the deliberative process over the previous year, we raised a number of concerns in the (Office of Refugee Resettlement) program about any policy which would result in family separation due to concerns we had about the best interest of the child as well as about whether that would be operationally supportable with the bed capacity that we have", Jonathan White, with the Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, told lawmakers at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.

One official told the Senate Judiciary Committee that while the Trump administration was developing its immigration policies, Health and Human Services officials said they were anxious "about any policy which would result in family separation due to concerns we had about the best interests of the child".

They also said they can document decisions by hundreds of detained parents to willingly leave the USA without their children, an assertion that has drawn skepticism from lawmakers.

White pointed to agencies" predictions that prying families apart would have the "potential for traumatic psychological injury' to children.

"There is widespread agreement in Congress, on both sides of the political aisle, that families should not be separated, that the best place for children is with their parents", he said. White is a career official at HHS who has served in three administrations.

Unnerving fellow Republicans, President Donald Trump declared Monday he would have "no problem" shutting down the federal government this fall if Congress won't come up with more money for border security.

Lawmakers and journalists who have visited some detention facilities around the country and migrants themselves have reported poor conditions.

Asked at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing to describe the so-called family residential centers where kids and parents are held, the head of enforcement and removal for Immigration and Customs Enforcement said the facilities are "more like a summer camp" than a jail.

"The initiative was a prosecution initiative, and our focus was on the prosecution element only, " Carla Provost, the acting chief of the US Border Patrol, told Leahy, citing the "zero tolerance" policy that the administration adopted for border crossers.

But Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, said the blame rests squarely with the administration.

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Past administrations generally operated under what President Trump has derided as a "catch and release" policy, briefly detaining family units before releasing them into the interior of the country with a promise to return for a hearing.

At one point, Sen.

After being asked if they would feel comfortable sending their own children there, one panelist, Jennifer Higgins, said, "That's a hard question to answer". "I don't think we're going to shut down the government", he said to Martha Raddatz on Sunday.

Tuesday's hearing also brought renewed calls from Democrats for the resignation of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.

ICE uses a court-approved form that documents decisions by some parents to leave the US without their children. The trauma is from separating the child from the parent.

"Please understand, there are consequences when people cross our Border illegally, whether they have children or not - and many are just using children for their own sinister purposes", Trump said. The Iowa Republican says the administration has "mishandled" family separations.

In this past week alone, as reports of sexual assault and other abuses in immigration detention have surfaced, federal courts moved to appoint an independent monitor to oversee the shelters holding migrant children, and to order all separated children removed from a Texas shelter reported to be drugging children without their parents' consent.

Shiloh is a collection of trailers and small buildings that can house up to 44 children, 32 of them migrants, according to the Center for Investigative Reporting, which has reported extensively on the facility.

He said congressional critics 'offer no plausible or workable solution at all'.

When the Trump administration tried to make that claim in federal court, in their motion to overturn Flores, U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee disputed it in strong terms.

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