Children would be separated from their parents if the families had been apprehended entering the country illegally, John Kelly, then the Homeland Security Secretary, said in March 2017, "in order to deter more movement along this terribly risky network". That means that instead of being put in immigration detention - where families can stay together - when a family crosses the border illegally, the adults will be subject to criminal prosecution, and since children can't be put in federal jails, they will be removed from the parents.
President Trump has repeatedly tried to blame Democrats for a situation that has sparked fury and a national debate over the moral implications of his hard-line approach to immigration enforcement.
Critics of US 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. "You need 60 votes".
Her comments were taken by some as an implicit criticism by Mrs Trump of her husband's recently introduced "zero tolerance" policy at the border. "We ran on a policy - very simply - stop mass illegal immigration and limit legal immigration, get our sovereignty back to help our workers, and so he went to a zero tolerance policy", Bannon said.
"This bill hardly fulfills President Trump's bold promise to fix immigration, and sure isn't a winning message for the GOP in the midterms", Hauman said.
The policy has divided Republicans, with its defenders pointing out that children are routinely taken from parents accused of crimes. The official tally of separations is now almost 4,000 children, not including March and the beginning of April 2018. No law mandates separating families.
Another new policy will make it even more hard to reunite children with their families.
A Central American child who is traveling with a caravan of migrants sleeps at a shelter in Tijuana, Mexico, on April 29, 2018.
A small number of reporters were given strictly controlled access earlier this week to one immigration detention centre where some children forcibly separated from their parents, or crossing the border alone, are being held.
The prospect of children being torn from their parents' arms wasn't an unintended outcome of this policy, it was central to its intention.
Late Sunday, Department of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen, who has boldly threatened to quit but not followed through, attempted a different strategy from her superiors: She pretended the policy she (supposedly) dislikes so much doesn't exist at all.
The officials on the call said the stricter standards would also apply to the initial screening process to determine whether immigrants crossing the border have a "credible fear" of returning to their home countries. But when it separates families at the border? He has attempted to use the plight of the children as political leverage in an upcoming battle over two immigration bills in the House, and has falsely claimed that federal law requires the separation of families trying to cross the border.
Separately, senior White House adviser Kellyanne Conway said on NBC's "Meet the Press" that "nobody likes" the separation of migrant children from their parents, but repeated Trump's view that the burden for changing it is on Democrats.
"From the experience of previous administrations, it does not act as a deterrent to use children in this fashion", she said. He then added, "The Democrats have to change their law - that's their law".