Tuesday's huddle between Trump and Republican lawmakers will be closely watched, in part to see whether any of them dare to directly confront the president.
The president even took aim at Rep. Mark Sanford (R-SC), who just lost a primary largely due to his past criticism of the president. Juan Vargas, a Democrat from southern California, shouted as Trump exited the meeting.
While some Republicans working on this legislation have said it's important to address this issue in comprehensive immigration bills, other Republicans say the only realistic chance of fixing it is in a separate bill.
But Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., says he is heartened by the debate because he is seeing Americans "standing up for children, standing up for those who are in need". The chorus of condemnation includes Democrats, as well as Republicans, who are increasingly anxious that reports about bereft children taken from their parents could damage the GOP's chances in November. One conservative measure is expected to fail.
"MS-13 gang members are truly, and you've heard me say it, animals-and yet Nancy Pelosi and Washington Democrats continue to protect them and to push for open borders", Trump said. Officials couldn't say how numerous 2,342 children had been united as of this week. Bob Goodlatte, would significantly reduce legal immigration, beef up border security, require employers to use the E-Verify system to verify the citizenship of employees (it's now voluntary) and give the "dreamers" a temporary legal status but not citizenship.
Earlier in the day, a defiant Trump sounded unfazed by the mounting pressure to alleviate the situation before it ruptures into a public relations disaster for his party. "And when you prosecute the parents for coming in illegally, which should happen, you have to take the children away".
Trump has accused Democrats of provoking the current crisis by blocking legislation to combat illegal immigration. A growing number of Republicans have pushed back, including Sen.
(The media point out that's not true, but it's also true that conditions in the much-criticized warehousing facilities date to the Obama administration.) The president's wife says the administration must govern with "heart".
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The United Nations has slammed the separation practice as unconscionable, while Amnesty International blasted it as "nothing short of torture".
On Tuesday Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray Caso said the practice was "cruel and inhuman".
The House is considering two bills.
The Democratic challengers - Sean Casten v. Roskam; Lauren Underwood v. Hultgren and Brendan Kelly v. Bost all are using the child separation issue.
At a detention centre in McAllen, Texas, hundreds of immigrant children were waiting in a series of cages created by metal fencing.
The Trump administration could allow bond hearings for immigrant families and release them if they are not a flight risk or danger to the community.
Audio obtained by the investigative news outlet ProPublica captures the harrowing cries of 10 Central American children when they were taken from their parents at the U.S. border by immigration authorities. Their children are then classified as "unaccompanied minors" and are transferred to the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Refugee Resettlement.
The majority crossed the border without their parents.