"The only thing worse than the nauseating cruelty of President Trump's immigration policy - captured perfectly by the agonizing stories of young children forcefully being separated from their parents at the border - is the craven dishonesty with which he attempts to sell it to the American people".
Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the plan in April, and expounded on it in May, saying his Department of Justice would partner with Homeland Security to prosecute anyone illegally crossing the southwest border and separate children from parents.
A two-year-old Honduran asylum seeker cries as her mother is searched and detained near the US.
Several Democrats, including some who are seen as 2020 presidential candidates, travelled to McAllen in the Rio Grande Valley area in Texas on Sunday to meet with USA border authorities and tour a former Walmart Inc. store that's been converted into a detention centre for almost 1,500 immigrant boys.
"For those seeking asylum at ports of entry, we have continued the policy from previous Administrations and will only separate if the child is in danger, there is no custodial relationship between "family" members, or if the adult has broken a law", she said.
Mr Trump plans to meet with House Republicans on Tuesday to discuss pending immigration legislation amid an election-season debate over an issue that helped vault the NY real estate mogul into the Oval Office in 2016.
Rep. Beto O'Rourke, a Democrat from Texas, said he was working on legislation that would end the practice of family separation. Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri, one of the most vulnerable red-state Democrats up for re-election this year, said Sunday on Twitter that she would sign onto the bill this week and focus on the issue in her capacity as the top Democrat on the Homeland Security Committee.
Clinton likewise spoke out, suggesting that Trump was using the widely condemned practice to leverage Democrats into accepting immigration limits in legislation they would otherwise oppose.
Last week, Sessions gave a full-throated defense of the policy leading to family separations, saying having children does not give migrants immunity from prosecution and citing the Bible as justification. More than the legal outcome of their cases, their advocates say, they're anxious about their children.
"And by the way, I don't see the mainstream media, and I don't see the liberal Left, embracing the 'angel moms, ' those people that were permanently separated from their children because of illegal aliens that came over here and committed crimes and killed people", he said.
Mrs Trump has called for Republicans and Democrats to work together on the issue.
"They're criminals when they come across illegally and that's why they're getting separated". "I mean, I hate to say it, that's the law and he's enforcing the law". In each case, they said they were there to protest the zero-tolerance policy. They say they will reject funding for a border wall that they call effectively useless and symbolically counterproductive and criticize Mr. Trump's policies as increasingly cruel.
The "zero-tolerance" border security policy implemented by President Donald Trump's administration has sparked outrage on both sides of the political aisle and took on particular resonance as America celebrated Father's Day.