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WASHINGTON (CBSMiami) – The White House is making a new push for immigration reform.
President Trump has returned to an issue that helped propel him into office: illegal immigration.
Trump is demanding congress do something to stop the flow of people into the country.
The president blames democrats for a recent spike in the number of undocumented migrants trying to cross the border.
The White House says democrats have stymied GOP efforts to close immigration law loopholes.
Aides to the president say human smugglers are exploiting those loopholes, specially a rule allowing migrants from Central America to remain in the U.S. until their case is heard.
In a tweet this past weekend, Trump called on people to, quote:
“Put pressure on the Democrats to end the horrible law that separates children from there (sic) parents once they cross the Border…”
There is no law that requires migrant families to be split up once they’re in the U.S.
But a new Trump administration policy is doing just that.
Earlier this month, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen ordered the prosecution of anyone caught crossing the border illegally.
Once in custody, they’re separated from any children with them because minors can’t be held in adult jails.
“Don’t break the law,” Nielsen said earlier this month. “That’s why they are separated because they are breaking the law. They come across the border and they are breaking the law.”
Since the enforcement policy went into effect, 658 children have been taken from the adults they crossed the border with.
The White House also refuted a claim that it lost track of nearly 1500 undocumented child migrants.
It said most were being cared for by people who simply ignored attempts to contact them.