Former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon said President Donald Trump doesn't need to "justify" the policy of separating children from parents who are caught illegally crossing the southern US border because the it is part of the administration's "zero tolerance" approach on illegal immigration.
US first lady Melania Trump has spoken out against the detention of thousands of migrant children separated from their parents by American authorities at the US-Mexico border.
Bannon also offered a forceful defense of the administration's "zero tolerance" policy of filing criminal charges against illegal immigrants apprehended near the border - even if it means separating them from children they are traveling with.
The issue has become convoluted, with both sides delivering misleading versions of what is a complex system of polices and laws governing how the country treats illegal immigrants who arrive as adults, as families, and as juveniles traveling without their parents. The government says it separated almost 2,000 children from adults at the US southern border over the course of six recent weeks.
She says that Mrs. Trump "hates to see children separated from their families" and hopes "both sides of the aisle can finally come together to achieve successful immigration reform".
It is unprecedented for former First Lady to criticize the policies of a current president. Inside a room dedicated to toddlers was a little girl no older than 2, screaming and pounding her fists on a mat.
TRT World's Kevin McAleese brings more from Washington, DC. "They are the ones who broke the law, they are the ones who endangered their own children on their trek".
However, critics have pointed out that detaining children separately from their parents was a policy announced by US Attorney General Jeff Sessions last month and does not require congressional action to be stopped.
Children can not be jailed in federal prisons so they are placed in shelters that have long existed for unaccompanied immigrant children arriving on the border alone.
Customs and Border Patrol released new pictures from inside the centralized processing center in McAllen, Texas, on Sunday, June 17, 2018.
The policy has drawn condemnation from medical professionals, religious leaders and immigration activists, who warn that some children could suffer lasting psychological trauma.
Cooper: Truth and the IG report
The report represents the culmination of an 18-month review into one of the most consequential FBI investigations in recent history.
The additional child detentions - reportedly including babies and toddlers - have resulted in some shelters and foster homes reporting that they are running out of space.
The president has tried to blame Democrats, who hold no levers of power in the government today, for a situation that has sparked fury and a national debate over the moral implications of his hard-line approach to immigration enforcement.
"On Fathers Day we shouldn't be seen as a country that separates it's parents from their children", Scaramucci wrote in a Sunday tweet.
Though everyone agrees that the US immigration system "isn't working", she says, "the injustice of zero tolerance is not the answer".
Images of children living in converted buildings near the border and tents being erected to house migrants have led to fierce political debate and comments from some unexpected quarters.
"Stop lying to the American people".
Democrats are being forced to get creative in protesting the Trump Administration's new "zero tolerance" stance toward immigration, as they are outnumbered legislatively in the House.
Democrats in the US House of Representatives will introduce legislation this week aimed at stopping separations, mirroring a similar Senate bill sponsored by Democrat Dianne Feinstein.
Trump has said Democrats need to get behind Republican legislative efforts.