"Somehow we've conflated everything, but there's two separate issues: 10,000 of those now in custody were sent by their parents, with strangers, to undertake a completely risky and deadly travel across the desert alone", Nielsen said in response.
"That's when they were separated", Nielsen said. Dianne Feinstein's legislation to bar family separation.
"We have a duty to protect the American people and it's one that I take very seriously", she said. "There is NO LAW that forces separation", Ainsley tweeted.
White House officials are unable to cite any part of US law that dictates the separations, which were initiated in April after Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced "zero tolerance" for unlawful border crossings.
"These children have been traumatized on their trip up to the border, and the first thing that happens is we take away the one constant in their life that helps them buffer all these awful experiences", Kraft said on CNN Monday.
Whether she really did consider resigning or not, more than one paper reported last month that Trump lambasted her during a cabinet meeting at greeeeeat length over the fact that illegal border-crossings hadn't fallen. "Of course we do not want any situation where a child is not completely adequately taken care of".
Several prominent Democrats spent Father's Day crisscrossing the Rio Grande Valley in Texas to meet with USA border authorities and tour detention centers for apprehended children, including a former Walmart Inc. store that's been converted into a shelter for nearly 1,500 immigrant boys.
In eye of storm, North Koreans sees scant news of Kim's trip
President Trump has said he will use the summit, scheduled to begin Tuesday, to push for North Korea's denuclearization. Similar scenes were seen on Sunday when Kim and Trump arrived in the city, and when Kim went to meet Lee.
Nielsen said "those who have complained" about the policies now have an "opportunity" to work with the administration on the issue.
On Monday, speaking to the nation's sheriffs at a gathering in New Orleans, again defended the zero tolerance policy. "I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13, to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained them for the objective of order", he said Thursday.
"How is this not specifically child abuse for these innocent children who are indeed being separated from their parents", CNN White House correspondent Jeff Zeleny asked, referring to children who were separated from their parents and held in detention centers.
The Republican-led House of Representatives may vote next week on two immigration measures - a hard-line bill drafted by House Judiciary chairman Bob Goodlatte, and a compromise measure that limits legal immigration while also ending the family separations.
Immigration advocates and Democrats say the administration has made it exceedingly hard to claim asylum at official ports of entry. He also planned stops at a border patrol station and a port of entry. If you make a false immigration claim, we will prosecute you.
Current asylum policy, Nielsen argued, was unfair and set up a magnet for migrant children to try to enter the country illegally. "If you don't want your child separated, then don't bring them across the border illegally". We now care for them.
"This administration has a simple message: If you cross the border illegally, we will prosecute you", she said.