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Trump defends controversial policy of separating children from parents

US President Donald Trump has defended his controversial policy of separating Central American immigrant children from their parents at the southern border after the United Nations demanded a halt to the “serious” violation of children’s rights.

The UN human rights office on Tuesday censured the Trump administration for its “zero tolerance” policy about undocumented immigrants in which some families have been separated after crossing the US-Mexico border.

The rights office said that “children should never be detained for reasons related to their own or their parents’ migration status. Detention is never in the best interests of the child and always constitutes a child rights violation.”

In a tweet on Tuesday evening, Trump blamed his administration’s controversial practice on opposition Democrats.

“Separating families at the Border is the fault of bad legislation passed by the Democrats. Border Security laws should be changed but the Dems can’t get their act together!” he wrote on his Twitter handle.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a “zero-tolerance policy” in early May, ordering federal prosecutors to peruse criminal charges against all referrals for illegally crossing the border, as possible.

US Attorney General Jeff Sessions looks on as he addresses the National Sheriffs’ Association opioid roundtable in Washington, DC, May 3, 2018. (AFP photo)

On Tuesday, Sessions also defended the “zero tolerance” policy, saying it was legal and necessary to deter the thousands of families crossing the border each month.

“We’ve got to get this message out. You will be prosecuted if you come illegally. And if you bring children, you’ll still be prosecuted,” he told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt.

“If people do not want to be separated from their children, then they should not bring them with them,” he added.

The Trump administration has increased security on the US border with Mexico and has pledged to prosecute refugees and migrants who cross it.

The anti-immigration policy, which officially went into effect last month, has prompted heavy criticism from advocates for separating children from parents as a deterrence measure.

The controversial policy also caused officials to lose track of hundreds of children — an already existed problem — in the US foster care system, according to an NBC report.

While parents are imprisoned, according to the report, their kids are turned over to the Office of Refugee Resettlement, part of the Department of Health and Human Services.

The children are then designated as “unaccompanied minors,” and the government tries to connect them to family members who are already in the United States.

source: press tv

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