Jeff Sessions says no one wants to split families

Sessions Building a wall will end family separations at border

Sessions on Monday also confirmed that the new policy meant to send a "message" and deter people from "breaking across the border unlawfully"-just hours after Homeland Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen slammed that very notion".

Yoder, who is chairman of a House Appropriations homeland security subcommittee, demanded the change Monday.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions argued the US wouldn't face the "terrible choice" of separating children from their families if there was a border wall. Authorities have defended the policy, saying that the adults escorting the children have committed a crime and must be taken into custody, as well as offering the unsubstantiated claim that criminal gang members bring minors with them across the border in order to be treated with more leniency by security services.

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, a former Senate Judiciary Committee chairman, also said Tuesday that he will send a letter to the Justice Department asking for a pause of family separation until Congress can pass a legislative solution.

Sessions said Monday in New Orleans at the National Sheriff's Association conference that enforcing immigration laws that result in the separation of children from parents is necessary.

"We can not and will not encourage people to bring children by giving them blanket immunity from our laws", he said.

Sessions' new zero tolerance policy on illegal immigration has stirred controversy in recent weeks, particularly for its separation of children from their parents.

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The emotional toll for migrant children caught at the border is not new.

"If you don't like families being separated, you can tell [the Department of Homeland Security] to stop doing it", Graham said.

Jenkins' office said the separations highlight the need to pass immigration reform in order to put an end to "this bad policy". Jenkins is not running for re-election.

Laura Bush said the detention centres reminded her of internment camps where Japanese-Americans were held during the Second World War.

Michigan Republican Representative Fred Upton on Monday called for an immediate end to the "ugly and inhumane practice", adding, "It's never acceptable to use kids as bargaining chips in political process". Marshall said he has empathy for the children who have been separated, and called it "terrible".

Prior to Trump assuming the role of president, anyone who brought a child with them across the border was given "immunity from prosecution".

Two immigration bills under consideration in the House could address the separations, but the outlook for passage is dim. Conservatives say the compromise legislation that GOP leaders helped negotiate with moderates is inadequate.

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