In a tweet Saturday morning, the president bashed Democrats for obstructing a GOP immigration bill that would stop the separation of families on the border, provide protection for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients, and provide funding for a border wall. Asylum-seekers who go directly to official crossings are not separated from their families, except in specific circumstances, such as if officials can't confirm the relationship between the minors and adults, if the safety of the children is in question, or if the adult is being prosecuted.
The separation policy follows Attorney General Jeff Sessions' announcement on April 6 of a "zero-tolerance" immigration policy that includes criminally prosecuting illegal border-crossers, thus separating them from children who under USA law can not be held in criminal detention centers. "I'd like to say it's un-American, but it's happening right now in America".
Through May, DHS stats put the exact number of children separated from parents at 1,995.
But the last sentence in particular is a stark - and, yes, I'll say it, courageous - rejection of her husband's repeated efforts to shift the blame for this to anyone else. Trump has repeatedly, falsely asserted that a law passed by Democrats is to blame for the family-separation policy.
"She did not know what was going on", said paralegal Georgina Guzman, recalling their conversation at a federal courthouse in McAllen, Texas.
Those arrested are then transferred to Department of Justice custody and presented before a judge for the crime of illegal entry into the United States. Republicans announced that they planned to vote next week on a pair of immigration bills, but Democrats have indicated they are solidly opposed to both of those proposals.
The practice has prompted sweeping outcry from Democrats and immigration advocates, who argue it is cruel and traumatizing for children.
But Collins cast doubt about the efficacy of the policy as a deterrent against illegal immigration.
Embers of disapproval were stoked when Attorney General Jeff Sessions cited scripture on Thursday in defense of the administration's tough immigration policies.
Parents have since been arrested and placed in quick federal court proceedings near the border.
When Central American migrants, including many unaccompanied children, began surging across the border in early 2014, Obama formed a multi-agency team at the White House to figure out what should be done. US protocol prohibits detaining children with their parents because the children are not charged with a crime and the parents are.
The administration insists the new rules are necessary to send a message to immigrants.
The U.S. separated about 1,995 children from their parents and detained them between mid-April and May 31, according to the Office of Refugee Resettlement at the Department of Health and Human Services, which is responsible for their care.
In 2005, he launched Operation Streamline, a program along a stretch of the border in Texas that referred all unlawful entrants for criminal prosecution, imprisoning them and expediting assembly-line-style trials geared toward quickly deporting them. Apply to enter lawfully.
The politics of the immigration debate have grown more heated since the administration adopted a "zero tolerance" approach at the Southern border.