ICE, Border Patrol testify at Senate hearing on family separations

Trump threatens to ‘shut down’ government if Dems don’t support border measures

"As far as the border is concerned and personally, if we don't get border security after many, many years of talk, I would have no problem doing a shutdown".

Asked if he required the full $25 billion the White House has requested to build a wall along the USA border with Mexico, as well as his other immigration priorities, in order to avert a shutdown, Trump replied, "I always leave room for negotiation".

"It's not an exaggeration to say that the policies of President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions may have essentially orphan hundreds of immigrant children", said Democratic California Sen.

The president first threatened a shutdown on Sunday, saying that Democrats needed to back his immigration reform package, which included the wall on the US border with Mexico. Trump has reignited his fight with Congress over funding for a Southern border wall with Mexico. Trump tweeted Sunday. "Must get rid of Lottery, Catch & Release etc. and finally go to a system of Immigration based on MERIT!"

With President Donald Trump already under fire for taking thousands of migrant children from their detained parents - and botching the reunification of many - the request for the investigation elevated yet another issue to the administration's list of immigration headaches.

The threat came one day after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told The Washington Post that he was confident that Congress could avoid a shutdown in the fall. At the hearing, administration officials revealed that hundreds of children remain separated almost a week after a court-imposed deadline to reunite them, that pregnant detainees can be shackled as long as they are not in "active labor" and that there was significant internal pushback within agencies as the family separation policy was being developed by President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

"We need great people coming into our Country", he added. We can have border security without bullying.

Trump returned to the idea after a meeting at the White House last week with House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., where they were said to have agreed on the way forward on government funding for the budget year that starts October 1.

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"That's a hard question to answer, " said Jennifer Higgins, the associate director of refugee, asylum and worldwide operations at US Citizenship and Immigration Services.

"A government shutdown is a very small price to pay for a safe and Prosperous America", Trump said.

Numerous children have been accused by immigration officials of belonging to MS-13 and other violent gangs, an activity Trump has used to justify his "zero tolerance" policy of prosecuting immigrants caught entering the country without permission.

McConnell, asked about a shutdown during a Kentucky radio interview, said it was not going to happen. McConnell cancelled most of the Senate's recess to give senators time to work on the annual spending bills that fund government operations.

Spending bills have appropriated funds to replace existing walls or barriers, something Trump has tried to promote to his supporters as signs of progress. It's time we had proper border security.

He got $1.6 billion for the last fiscal year, with a House bill proposing $5 billion for fiscal 2019 and a Senate committee suggesting another $1.6 billion allotment. "You know, I think we're going to make sure we keep the government open, but we're going to get better policies on immigration".

Last week, Republican leaders thought they had reached a deal with Trump to delay a confrontation on funding for the wall until after the November mid-term elections, according to a person familiar with their discussion.

She said that while zero-tolerance has increased the volume of cases for prosecution, the agency has long maintained a law enforcement mission at the border during past administrations.

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