The policy, introduced in May by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, caused widespread outrage in the USA this week after pictures of children being separated from their parents and placed in detention were splashed across the media. There, members of the President's party are facing pressure to distance themselves from the Trump administration's policy that has led to the separation of children from their parents at the southern border. The president said images of children in detention "affect everyone" but said images from the Obama administration were worse.
The "zero tolerance" policy put into place last month moves adults to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service and sends many children to facilities run by the Department of Health and Human Services.
But Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of NY signalled that no such support would be coming, saying it's already in Trump's power to keep the families together. "We want to be strong at the border but we also want to be compassionate", Trump said.
Medical providers who have visited the facilities say they are safe and clean, but the children are often crying and acting out.
President Donald Trump has said he's "1,000 percent" behind both GOP bills, but restive House Republicans have all but begged GOP leaders for more clarity about what the president would actually sign. One White House official said Mrs. Trump had been making her opinion known to the president for some time that she felt he needed to do all he could to help families stay together, whether it was by working with Congress or acting on his own.
"I do not favor separating families".
"Right now we're focused on getting this bill passed", he said. Public outcry is mounting over the family separations, but so far, there's no clear roadmap for Thursday voting on the emotional issue dividing Republicans.
Trump has continually falsely blamed Democrats for laws he said required the separation of migrant families, though no law requires family separation and the zero-tolerance policy was implemented by his administration alone. Forty-one Republicans joined all the Democrats to defeat that bill, which would have funded President Trump's border wall, slashed legal immigration, and provided temporary legal status to some undocumented immigrants. An audio recording purported to feature Central American children separated from their parents sobbing and wailing has also struck a nerve.
Trump's immigration order sparks confusion and deep concern - worldwide
Children, because of a 1997 order and related decisions, can not be detained for longer than 20 days with the adults. Legislation on those issues had been promised for July, but skeptical lawmakers wanted it done sooner.
Earlier, as countries marked World Refugee Day Wednesday, global leaders assailed Trump for the separations.
Instead, the process requires coordination between Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which holds numerous parents, and HHS, which takes custody of children and places them with adult "sponsors".
Republican lawmakers emerged from the 45-minute huddle energized that Trump was giving his backing to legislation that House leaders expect to bring to a vote this week. Because any illegal border crossing is prosecuted, parents and children are separated during the legal process.
A Homeland Security official later said the agency detected 46 such fraud cases during the government's 2017 fiscal year, or about.06 percent of the more than 70,000 families taken into custody. This has sparked anger over the appearance that his administration is effectively holding children hostage for political concessions.
"He mentioned that his daughter Ivanka had encouraged him to end this and he said he does recognize that it needs to end and the images are painful and he's looking for a legislative solution", CNN reported Florida congressman Carlos Curbelo as saying. A particularly harrowing account told of parents being informed that their child was being taken away for a bath - only to be told half an hour later that they would not see them again.
Peter Schey, class-appointed counsel in the Flores case, said Wednesday there was nothing in the agreement that prevents Homeland Security officials from detaining children with their parents, "as long as the conditions of detention are humane and the child remains eligible for release, unless the child is a flight risk, or a danger to herself or others, or the child's parent does not wish the child to be released". So if the Flores settlement is successfully amended, the families caught crossing the border illegally will be detained together.
The compromise bill in the House shifts away from the nation's longtime preference for family immigration to a new system that prioritizes entry based on merits and skills.
Parents who wish for their children to remain in the country with a relative who sponsors that child may do so, Bennett said, especially if the child intends to make an immigration claim such as an asylum petition.