WHAT’S HAPPENING: Trump to discuss border amid outrage

Posted at 7:30 AM, Jun 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-19 08:30:42-04

President Donald Trump’s immigration policies have come under intense scrutiny following reports of the forced separation of migrant children from their parents. Democrats and some Republicans are urging an end to the practice at the U.S.-Mexico border. A look at the latest developments:
Trump is planning to meet with House Republicans Tuesday to discuss legislation, even as lawmakers in both parties complain about the administration’s "zero tolerance" approach to illegal border crossings, in particular the separation of families at the southern border.
Nearly 2,000 children were separated from their families over a six-week period in April and May.
Democrats are demanding that the administration do something to keep migrant families together. Republicans are increasingly joining Democrats in that call.
Federal officials have insisted that migrant children taken into custody are being treated humanely, and yet an audio of Spanish-speaking children crying out for their parents – apparently recorded at a U.S. immigration facility – is causing outrage.
"Papa! Papa!" one child is heard weeping in the audio file that was first reported by the nonprofit ProPublica and provided to The Associated Press.
At the border, an estimated 80 people pleaded guilty Monday to immigration charges, including some who asked the judge questions such as "What’s going to happen to my daughter?" and "What will happen to my son?"
Wrenching images of migrant children being separated from their parents and held in wire cages in detention centers at the southern border are roiling campaigns ahead of midterm elections.
Democrats have become emboldened by the issue, and an increasing number of Republicans are breaking from Trump on a matter that animates the GOP’s most ardent supporters.
With control of the House – and potentially the Senate – up for grabs, the searing images have the potential to scramble midterm politics.
Four former first ladies, as well as Melania Trump, have spoken out about immigrant families being separated at the border.
Former first lady Laura Bush has become among the most prominent and outspoken critics of the policy.
"I live in a border state. I appreciate the need to enforce and protect our international boundaries, but this zero-tolerance policy is cruel. It is immoral. And it breaks my heart," she wrote in a guest column published Sunday in The Washington Post. She compared it to the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II, which she called "one of the most shameful episodes in U.S. history."
Michelle Obama tweeted in support of Bush’s comments, saying "Sometimes truth transcends party."
Melania Trump also voiced disquiet, saying she "hates" to see families separated and that she is hoping for immigration reform.
Her spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, said Sunday that the current first lady "believes we need to be a country that follows all laws, but also a country that governs with heart."
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called the administration’s zero-tolerance policy "a moral and humanitarian crisis."
Speaking Monday at an awards lunch for the Women’s Forum of New York, Clinton said what was happening to families at the U.S.-Mexico border is "horrific."
"Every human being with a sense of compassion and decency should be outraged," Clinton said.
The 2016 Democratic presidential nominee said she had warned during the campaign that Trump’s hard-line immigration stance would result in family separations.
"Now as we watch with broken hearts, that’s exactly what’s happening," she said.
News reports have increasingly focused on the border story since Monday, with most – but not all – outlets roundly criticizing the treatment of children in immigrant detention centers.
After The Associated Press wrote that "hundreds of children wait in a series of cages created by metal fencing ," Breitbart News produced an article objecting to use of the word "cages." Fox News Channel’s Steve Doocy said the government had "built walls out of chain-link fences."
Sally Buzbee, the AP’s executive editor, says the AP is comfortable with the description.