Agency warned family separation would be bad for kids

Gage Skidmore  Flickr

Trump has threatened a shutdown over the wall before and there have been two shutdowns already this year, but recent action - including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell shortening the August recess - seem to be in favor of avoiding another shutdown this fall.

"If we don't get border security after many, many years of talk within the United States, I would have no problem doing a shutdown", Trump said during a joint news conference at the White House alongside Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte.

Several government officials have said that the president is using zero tolerance as a bargaining chip to garner support for the border wall, as well as the tightening of immigration laws - such as catch and release and the visa lottery - despite the fact that Republicans control both houses of Congress.

Mr McConnell told a radio interviewer last week that a shutdown so close to the November 6 mid-term elections will not happen, but he acknowledged the border funding issue was unlikely to be resolved before the balloting.

Mr Trump returned to the idea of shutting down the government over the border wall just days after meeting at the White House with Mr McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan to discuss the autumn legislative agenda. Most officials declined to answer, deferring the question to others.

"It's not an exaggeration to say that the policies of President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions may essentially orphan hundreds of immigrant children", she said, blasting the policy as "deeply immoral and haphazard". Democrats believe most families should be released into the country as they await their day in court.

WASHINGTON - Immigration officials defended the integrity of their agencies' handling of family separations at the border, with one witness telling a Senate panel Tuesday that Border Patrol agents don't leave their "humanity behind when we report for duty".

Albence complained that the government was focusing on reunification because a judge was forcing the issue - sparking a sharp rebuke from Democrats for trying to deflect responsibility from the Trump administration's zero tolerance policy.

Congressman Steve Stivers, a Republican from OH, downplayed the possibility of a shutdown in a TV interview on Sunday, saying: "I think we're going to make sure we keep the government open".

But GOP leaders are itching to avoid a shutdown starting October 1 - just five weeks before the midterm elections - and Trump himself wants to ensure smooth sailing for confirmation of his Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

House Republicans released a spending bill this month that provides five billion dollars (£3.81 billion) next year to build Mr Trump's wall, a major boost.

Some Republican lawmakers doubted the government would be forced to shut down. "But we're going to get the wall, even if we have to think about closing up the country for a while".

The $5 billion is well above the $1.6 billion in the Senate version of a bill funding the Department of Homeland Security.

Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby, R-Ala., said there's been more progress on spending legislation at this point in the process than in years and said Trump "seemed to be on board" in a previous conversation about the committee's progress.

At the White House meeting last week, Trump, Ryan and McConnell agreed that Congress is on track to enact more than half of federal spending before the new budget year begins October 1, but that DHS funding, including the border wall money, doesn't have to be settled before then, according to a person familiar with the meeting who was not authorized to discuss it publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Two of the Rio Grande Valley's three members of Congress, Reps.

White drew high praise earlier this month from the federal judge who ordered the Trump administration to reunite all separated children.

In the wake of government confusion keeping track of parents and children, Sen.

Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, asked the officials if they would want their children to be detained in one of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement facilities.

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