However, a former head of the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement has said he believes hundreds of these separated children will never be reunited with their parents. "But at the same time, we're not sure what that means", said Rep. Lou Correa, D-Santa Ana, who this week inspected a detention center at the Mexican border near San Diego.
There was no immediate prospect, however, of them reuniting with their children. Experts have said such separation from parents can cause permanent emotional damage. Some argued that the policy to separate parents and children isn't different than what happens to other criminals who are arrested or imprisoned.
The administration also has sought a permanent legislative fix on the issue, but congressional Republicans said the U.S. House of Representatives was likely to reject two immigration bills created to halt the practice of splitting up families and address a range of other immigration issues.
Trump returned to a exhaustive talking point that "Democrats and court-ordered loopholes" prevent families from being detained together and "lead to family separation, no matter how you cut it".
Pelosi was quick to highlight the partisan nature of the debate, saying she's had no conversations with House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanTrump backs down in rare reversal Trump, GOP launch full-court press on compromise immigration measure Meadows gets heated with Ryan on House floor MORE (R-Wis.) about a legislative solution to the separation of families at the southern border with Mexico - an issue that has risen to the forefront of an immigration debate that was initially focused on rescuing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
Trump said Wednesday he didn't like seeing children being removed from their families, a recent practice that has sparked worldwide outrage.
"The Border has been a big mess and problem for many years".
"What is the goal of the House doing good immigration bills when you need 9 votes by Democrats in the Senate, and the Dems are only looking to Obstruct", Trump said in a tweet on Thursday as he renewed his call for a change in Senate rules to allow legislation to move with a simple majority.
It would also provide $25 billion in funding for Trump's much-promised border wall, change the existing visa lottery into a merit-based system and provide a path to citizenship for the young undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children. Trump has instructed Attorney General Jeff Sessions to ask a federal court to overturn the settlement. According to the independent news website, ProPublica, which made public a heartrending audio recording of crying children between four and 10 years old at a detention facility, more than 2,300 children have been separated from their parents since the Trump administration launched its zero tolerance policy in April. One official said it was the Justice Department that generated the legal strategy that is codified in the working executive order, and disputed the notion that Homeland Security was involved in drawing up the document.
'We don't like to see families separated.
Under the order, the Homeland Security secretary will, with some exceptions, maintain custody of alien families while any legal proceedings concerning illegal entry or immigration status involving their members are pending implementation.
Business and religious leaders, four former US first ladies and Trump's wife, Melania Trump, also voiced sharp criticism of the policy to split up migrant families, many of them escaping poverty and turmoil in Central America, as they illegally crossed the USA border. The president warned there are criminals who use children as tickets to enter the U.S.