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AP FACT CHECK: Trump Falsely Claims Progress on North Korea

President Donald Trump is trumpeting results of his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un that get ahead of reality.

He is declaring that North Korea has begun ridding itself fully of nuclear weapons following an agreement with Kim in Singapore earlier this month, even though his Defense Department says otherwise.

Trump also prematurely claimed the return of remains of U.S. servicemen missing from the 1950-53 Korean War.

A look at how his statements compare with the facts:

TRUMP: “The big thing is, it will be a total denuclearization, which has already started taking place.” — remarks Thursday at Cabinet meeting.

THE FACTS: That’s not what his Pentagon chief, Jim Mattis, says. When asked by a reporter Wednesday whether he had seen any sign that North Korea had begun steps toward denuclearization, Mattis replied, “I’m not aware of any. Obviously, we’re at the very front end of the process. Detailed negotiations have not begun.”

At the summit, Kim committed to “complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” but no details were worked out.

In May, before the summit, North Korea demolished tunnels at its sole underground nuclear test site, although outsiders have not inspected the result. Its nuclear program has many other elements, including nuclear materials production facilities, nuclear warheads, ballistic missiles and missile launchers.

Soldiers’ remains

TRUMP: “We got back our great fallen heroes, the remains sent back today, already 200 have been sent back.” — remarks Wednesday at rally in Duluth, Minnesota.

THE FACTS: No remains have been returned, although Pentagon officials say they are prepared to receive them. Although the Singapore declaration said this would happen immediately, U.S. officials have given no indication that North Korea has committed to any specific timetable for the return.

On Thursday, in remarks at a Cabinet meeting, Trump modified his claim, saying, “They’ve already sent back or are in the process of sending back the remains of our great heroes who died in North Korea during the war.”

Aside from uncertainty over when North Korea will return the remains it has collected over the years, it’s unclear whether all will be in a condition to permit their positive identification, or whether they all are even Americans. A number of allied soldiers who fought alongside the U.S. during the war also are missing.

Nearly 7,700 American service members are listed as unaccounted for from the Korean War, of which an estimated 5,300 were lost in North Korea.

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Trump’s Immigration Actions Could Shape Midterm Election

This week could turn out to be pivotal for the Trump White House as both major parties get ready for midterm congressional elections in November.

President Donald Trump’s decision to reverse a policy of separating families coming across the U.S. southern border came in the wake of a political firestorm that fired up opposition Democrats and alarmed even some Republicans. At the very least, it likely set the stage for immigration to be a key issue in November.

WATCH: Trump’s Immigration Actions Could Shape Midterm Election

​Defiant tone

Trump was in combat mode Wednesday during a political rally in Duluth, Minnesota, where he vowed to make immigration a central focus in the upcoming congressional campaign.

“If you want to create a humane, lawful system of immigration then you need to retire the Democrats and elect Republicans to finally secure our borders,” Trump said to an enthusiastic crowd, some chanting, “Build the wall!”

Just hours earlier, the president reversed his controversial policy of separating children from their parents by signing an executive order in the White House. 

“We are going to have strong, very strong, borders. But we are going to keep the families together,” he said.

​Outcry over separation

Trump decided to back away from the controversial policy of separating families after an outcry from around the country that included protests in several states, including Arizona, Texas, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts.

Also driving the outrage was a recording of children crying out for their parents released by the investigative journalist group ProPublica.

The separation policy drew condemnation from Republicans including former first lady Laura Bush and a host of Democrats.

“We should be able to agree that we will not keep kids in child internment camps indefinitely and hidden away from public view,” said Maryland Democratic Congressman Elijah Cummings. “What country is that? This is the United States of America!”

Divisive issue

Advocates for a tough border policy sided with the president including Art Arthur of the Center for Immigration Studies. He cited a recent upsurge in attempted border crossings.

“That large influx of individuals would suggest that we are starting to creep back up the numbers we saw during the Obama administration,” Arthur told VOA via Skype. “And the Trump administration needed to take action to respond, and this is an appropriate response.”

But many religious leaders were critical, including Monsignor Kevin Sullivan, executive director of Catholic Charities for Archdiocese of New York, who also spoke via Skype.

“To use the means of separating a child from his or her mother just is completely unacceptable for us as Americans,” he said.

​Political fallout

The immediate political fallout could be damaging for the president, especially with the midterms coming up later this year.

“It is a public relations disaster area for the Trump administration, and just about everybody but Donald Trump and his very strongly anti-immigration aides seem to realize that,” said University of Virginia analyst Larry Sabato.

Sabato also told VOA via Skype that Trump’s tough stance is also aimed at shoring up his political base for the midterms.

“Of course, they are focusing on their base. They are trying to make sure that they are going to show up and vote and it could make some difference in close midterm elections.”

Polls pro and con

Trump’s poll numbers have improved of late, but that was before the firestorm over separating families at the border.

Recent polls by Quinnipiac University and the Associated Press showed a majority of Americans approved of his outreach to North Korea to defuse the nuclear threat.

But surveys by Quinnipiac and CNN also found Americans opposed his child separation policy by margins of 2 to 1.

There is also fresh evidence that Trump is firing up both political parties in the run-up to the midterm voting. The Pew Research Center found that 55 percent of voters who intend to vote for Democrats in November are more enthusiastic than usual.

But the survey also found that 50 percent of those who intend to support Republicans are also more enthusiastic, setting the stage for what could be a monumental get out the vote struggle for both parties come November.

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Trump’s Immigration Actions Could Shape Midterm Election

President Donald Trump’s decision to reverse a policy of separating immigrant families coming across the U.S. southern border came in the wake of a political firestorm this week. It also sets the stage for immigration to be a key issue in this year’s congressional midterm elections. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more on the political fallout from Washington.

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Melania Trump Visits Migrant Children at Texas Detention Center

Melania Trump made an unannounced visit to a Texas facility Thursday, talking with children and staff as she got a first-hand look at some of the migrant children sent there by the U.S. government after their families entered the country illegally.

 

The first lady’s stop at Upbring New Hope Children’s Center came the morning after President Donald Trump signed an executive order halting the practice of separating these families. The visit to the one-story red brick building, which houses 55 children between the ages of 12 and 17, was intended to lend support to those children who remain separated from their parents, said Stephanie Grisham, the first lady’s spokeswoman.

 

“She wanted to see everything for herself,” Grisham said.

Third-graders at the facility welcomed the first lady with a large paper American flag they’d signed taped to a wall. With the words, “Welcome! First Lady” written in black marker across the red and white bars, Mrs. Trump also signed the flag, which the children gave to her. Next to the flag on the classroom walls: A drawing of a flowering plant, a butterfly, a hummingbird and a heart, with the words, “New Hope, We Love You All, Staff” written in cursive.

Visiting another classroom, Mrs. Trump asked children where they were from, if they were friends and how long they’d been at the center where staff said children typically spend between 42 and 45 days. The children responded, sometimes in English, other times in Spanish, many of them wearing gray T-shirts with the red, white and blue words “We Are One.” She told children to “be kind and nice to each other” as she left for another classroom.

 

The first lady thanked the staff for their “heroic work” and asked them to reunite the children with their families as quickly as possible. In a makeshift conference room, Mrs. Trump met with staff from New Hope, HHS and border patrol, asking several questions about the children’s welfare and asking that the children be reunited with their families “as quickly as possible.”

 

New Hope staff reassured Mrs. Trump, who was accompanied by Health and Human Services secretary Alex Azar, that the children are assessed for physical and mental health issues when they enter the facility and are often distraught. They attend school five days a week and have a variety of activities.

 

“We just have a tremendous passion for working with these children,” said program director Roy De La Cerda. “We see them as our own.”

The trip was intended to lend support to those children who remain separated from their parents, said Stephanie Grisham, the first lady’s spokeswoman.

 

“She wanted to see everything for herself,” Grisham said.

 

The president had insisted incorrectly that his administration had no choice but to separate families apprehended at the border because children cannot go to jail with adults who are being criminally prosecuted for crossing the border illegally. Trump had said only Congress could fix the problem and he specifically pointed a finger at Democrats.

 

He reversed course Wednesday by signing the order ending separations and keeping families together when they are in custody, at least for the next few weeks. The administration’s “zero-tolerance” policy of criminally prosecuting illegal border-crossers, which has led to the removal of some 2,300 children from their parents since May, remains.

 

Accompanied by Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, Mrs. Trump met with the executive director of the facility and other staff in a makeshift conference room where she was told the staff treated the 58 children housed there as if they were their own.

 

The first lady asked that the children be reunited with their families “as quickly as possible.”

 

WATCH: Melania Trump at Texas facility

President Trump had come under pressure to stop the practice of separating families, including from GOP allies and the first lady herself, following a public outcry sparked by widespread images of children held in fence-like structures. Plans for a visit to a second facility where children housed in cages were seen by The Associated Press last week were canceled because of flooding.

 

The trip was intended to lend support to some of the more than 2,300 children who remain separated from their parents, Grisham said. In addition to the meetings with staff and children, Mrs. Trump also was briefed on the children’s medical care by nursing staff.

 

The president had insisted incorrectly that his administration had no choice but to separate families apprehended at the border because children cannot go to jail with adults who are being criminally prosecuted for crossing the border illegally. Trump had said only Congress could fix the problem and he specifically pointed a finger at Democrats.

 

He reversed course Wednesday by signing the order ending separations and keeping families together when they are in custody, at least for the next few weeks. The administration’s “zero-tolerance” policy of criminally prosecuting illegal border-crossers, which has led to the removal of some 2,300 children from their parents since May, remains.

 

When asked Thursday if the first lady supports the policy, Grisham said, “She supports that the law should be followed.”

The trip came together within the past 48 hours, Grisham said.

 

“She told her staff she wanted to go and we made that happen,” she said.

President Trump spilled the beans about his wife’s trip to the border before it was announced, telling reporters during a Cabinet meeting: “My wife, our first lady, is down now at the border because it really bothered her to be looking at this and seeing it, as it bothered me, as it bothered everybody at this table. We’re all bothered by it.”

 

Grisham said that the first lady had the full backing of her husband.

 

“She told him ‘I am headed down to Texas’ and he was supportive.”

Mrs. Trump, whose focus as first lady is on child well-being, appears to have been among those pushing her husband to act.

 

Grisham released a statement last weekend saying the first lady “hates” to see children separated from their families and “believes we need to be a country that follows all laws, but also a country that governs with heart.”

 

WATCH: Melania Trump ask how often children speak to family

Hours before Trump used his executive order to halt family separations, a White House official let it be known that Mrs. Trump had been voicing her opinion to the president for some time, including that he needed to help families stay together. The official refused to be identified discussing Trump’s private conversations with his wife.

 

Trump acknowledged Wednesday that the mother of his 12-year-old son, Barron, had been prodding him.

 

“My wife feels very strongly about it,” he told reporters after he signed the order.

 

The pair of statements from the first lady amounted to an unusual public intervention by Mrs. Trump into a policy debate. Her four former living predecessors, seemingly encouraged after Laura Bush authored a scathing opinion piece, followed with sharper commentary of their own condemning the family separations as shameful.

 

The last-minute trip to Texas marks the first public action by Mrs. Trump since she announced in May an initiative named “Be Best” to focus on the overall well-being of children and help teach them kindness. She had been expected to travel to promote the campaign but was sidelined a week after the announcement following surgery to treat a benign kidney condition.

 

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UN: US Withdrawal from Human Rights Council Uncharted Territory

The United Nations has begun the process of filling the seat the United States left vacant at the U.N. Human Rights Council now that it has received official notification that Washington is resigning from the council.

The U.N. body wasted no time adjusting to the new reality. It already has removed the U.S. nameplate from the area where the 47-members of the Human Rights Council sit and has placed it among the observer states.

Council spokesperson Rolando Gomez told VOA the seat eventually will be filled by a new member elected by the General Assembly.

“This is new uncharted territory,” he noted. “This is something — a first — that has never happened before where a member of the council has withdrawn its membership. So, we are moving the best way we can in following the proper procedures.”

Council members are elected from five regional groups — the African, Asian, Eastern European, Latin American and Caribbean, and Western groups. Gomez said the U.S. vacancy will be filled by a country from the Western Group, including Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Israel.

“In theory yes, Israel could assume membership as they are members of the western group,” he said. “Any state within the western group has potential to fulfill that vacancy.

The irony of such an outcome is not lost on observers considering that Washington blames what it calls the hypocrisy of the U.N. council and its chronic bias against Israel for its decision to quit the council.

Gomez said the United States can continue to participate and play an influential role as an observer state. He said it is their prerogative to engage or disengage.

“The key difference between a member and an observer is that members can vote, and observers cannot,” he said. “… The United States would be able to sponsor resolutions, hold side events, influence language and resolutions. The key difference is they would not be able to vote.”

While the United States can continue to exert immense influence as an observer, Gomez noted it is always better to be part of the equation than to be on the sidelines watching.

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Trump to Meet Jordan’s King Abdullah at White House June 25

 U.S. President Donald Trump will welcome King Abdullah of Jordan to the White House on June 25, the White House said in a statement on Thursday.

“Trump looks forward to reaffirming the strong bonds of friendship between the United States and Jordan. The leaders will discuss issues of mutual concern, including terrorism, the threat from Iran and the crisis in Syria, and working towards a lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians,” it said.

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Immigrant Families Could End Up at Military Facilities

The U.S. military is prepared to provide housing for men, women and children detained for trying to enter the country illegally along the country’s southwestern border.

The executive order signed by President Donald Trump on Wednesday calls for the U.S. secretary of defense to “take all legally available measures” to provide housing for the immigrants either at existing facilities or at facilities to be constructed if needed.

“We support DHS [Department of Homeland Security],” Mattis told reporters earlier in the day, before a meeting at the Pentagon with the German defense minister.

“This is their lead,” he added. “We’ll respond if requested.”

Four installations considered

Already, four military installations, three in Texas and one in Arkansas, are being considered as possible locations for housing house children detained at the border.

Pentagon officials say that so far, the facilities at Fort Bliss, Dyess Air Force Base and Goodfellow Air Force Base in Texas and at Little Rock Air Force Base in Arkansas have been assessed only as potential sites and that no final determination has been made.

They also say that if the sites are used, the military would not be responsible for providing security or other services.

Mattis noted this would not be the first time the military has been asked to help house civilians.

“We have housed refugees. We have housed people thrown out of their homes by earthquakes and hurricanes,” he told reporters. “We do whatever is in the best interest of the country.”

​No direct military role

The Pentagon has not played a direct role in addressing the situation along the country’s border with Mexico, though it has facilitated the deployment of National Guard forces to border states.

Those troops have been helping with some aerial surveillance, logistics and infrastructure support but have not been carrying out any patrols and have not been making any arrests.

In a symbolic protest against the president’s initial “zero-tolerance” policy of separating children from their families, the governors of almost a dozen U.S. state announced they would be recalling their National Guard units.

Asked if those withdrawals had made any impact on the National Guard’s mission at the border, Mattis said, “Not right now, no.”

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Poll: Voters Give Trump Mixed Grades on Foreign, Domestic Issues

More than half of American voters say U.S. President Donald Trump’s recent meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un reduced the likelihood of nuclear war, according to a poll released Wednesday.

The poll, administered by Quinnipiac University, found that 54 percent of voters thought the summit, which took place June 12 in Singapore, reduced the risk of war. Thirty-seven percent of respondents said they felt it did not reduce the chance.

“American voters say President Donald Trump deserves a pat on the back for his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the poll.

Fifty percent of voters, however, said they did not think the summit would lead to peace between the two nations, and seven out of 10 disagreed with Trump’s June 13 claim that North Korea was “no longer a nuclear threat,” the poll found.

During the summit, Trump and Kim signed a document pledging both countries would “work to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” and attempt to establish “new U.S.-DPRK relations.”

North Korea, however, has made several pledges to denuclearize in the past to no avail. In 2016, during the Obama administration, the North “signal[ed] a willingness to resume negotiations on denuclearization,” according to arms control advocacy group the Arms Control Association.

No to Nobel Prize

According to the poll, 66 percent of voters disagreed with the notion that Trump deserves the Nobel Peace Prize. In May, 18 Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives wrote to the Norwegian Nobel Committee to formally nominate him. The committee is in charge of awarding the prize.

“Since taking office, President Trump has worked tirelessly to apply maximum pressure on North Korea to end its illicit weapons program and bring peace to the region,” the letter read.

Overall, 52 percent of voters said they disapproved with Trump’s performance as president, whereas 43 percent said they approved. The last Quinnipiac poll, released June 6, also found more voters disapproved than approved of the president’s performance by a margin of 51 percent to 40 percent.

Trust in media

Fifty-three percent of those polled said they trusted the news media more than Trump, while 65 percent believed that the media is an important part of democracy.

The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees freedom of speech and the press. Trump, however, has often attacked leading news outlets such as CNN and The New York Times, often claiming that they are biased against him. In February 2017, Trump called the media “the enemy of the American People” in a tweet.

November elections

Ahead of this November’s midterm elections, in which all 435 seats of the U.S. House of Representatives and 35 of the 100 U.S. Senate seats are up for election, the poll found American voters wanted Democrats to take control of both Republican-held chambers of Congress. Voters favored Democrats over Republicans 49-43 in the House, and 49-44 in the Senate. Democrats need to gain two seats to take control of the Senate, and 24 to take control of the House.

J. Miles Coleman, an electoral analyst for American election calling group Decision Desk HQ, told VOA while Trump’s approval numbers appear to be stable, Democratic incumbents are doing better than he would expect at this time.

On Wednesday, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a billionaire who was first elected to office as a Republican before becoming an Independent in 2007, announced he would be pledging $80 million toward helping Democratic candidates in the elections.

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McCaskill’s Husband Invested $1 Million in Offshore Hedge Fund

Four years after Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill co-sponsored legislation targeting tax havens such as the Cayman Islands, her husband began investing in a hedge fund registered in the Caribbean nation — an investment that has paid off handsomely.

The Kansas City Star reported Wednesday that Joseph Shepard has invested $1 million in Matrix Capital Management and that it has earned him between $230,000 and $2.1 million in income. The Star cited McCaskill’s financial disclosure forms, which only show a range of income.

Shepard declined the newspaper’s request for comment. He and McCaskill file their taxes separately.

McCaskill is running for re-election this year. Campaign spokeswoman Meira Bernstein told the Star that the senator has no involvement in her husband’s investments, and doesn’t consider his business interests when doing her job in the Senate.

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Youngest Migrants Held in ‘Tender Age’ US Shelters

Trump administration officials have been sending babies and other young children forcibly separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border to at least three “tender age” shelters in South Texas, The Associated Press has learned. 

Lawyers and medical providers who have visited the Rio Grande Valley shelters described play rooms of crying preschool-age children in crisis. The government also plans to open a fourth shelter to house hundreds of young migrant children in Houston, where city leaders denounced the move Tuesday.

Since the White House announced its zero tolerance policy in early May, more than 2,300 children have been taken from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border, resulting in a new influx of young children requiring government care. The government has faced withering critiques over images of some of the children in cages inside U.S. Border Patrol processing stations.

Decades after the nation’s child welfare system ended the use of orphanages over concerns about the lasting trauma to children, the administration is standing up new institutions to hold Central American toddlers that the government separated from their parents.

“The thought that they are going to be putting such little kids in an institutional setting? I mean it is hard for me to even wrap my mind around it,” said Kay Bellor, vice president for programs at Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, which provides foster care and other child welfare services to migrant children. “Toddlers are being detained.” 

Bellor said shelters follow strict procedures surrounding who can gain access to the children in order to protect their safety, but that means information about their welfare can be limited.

By law, child migrants traveling alone must be sent to facilities run by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services within three days of being detained. The agency then is responsible for placing the children in shelters or foster homes until they are united with a relative or sponsor in the community as they await immigration court hearings. 

But U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ announcement last month that the government would criminally prosecute everyone who crosses the U.S.-Mexico border illegally has led to the breakup of hundreds of migrant families and sent a new group of hundreds of young children into the government’s care. 

The United Nations, some Democratic and Republican lawmakers and religious groups have sharply criticized the policy, calling it inhumane. 

Not so, said Steven Wagner, an official with the Department of Health and Human Services. 

“We have specialized facilities that are devoted to providing care to children with special needs and tender age children as we define as under 13 would fall into that category,” he said. “They’re not government facilities per se, and they have very well-trained clinicians, and those facilities meet state licensing standards for child welfare agencies, and they’re staffed by people who know how to deal with the needs – particularly of the younger children.” 

Until now, however, it’s been unknown where they are.

“In general we do not identify the locations of permanent unaccompanied alien children program facilities,” said agency spokesman Kenneth Wolfe.

Drawing the line

The three centers – in Combes, Raymondville and Brownsville – have been rapidly repurposed to serve needs of children including some under 5. A fourth, planned for Houston, would house up to 240 children in a warehouse previously used for people displaced by Hurricane Harvey, Mayor Sylvester Turner said.

Turner said he met with officials from Austin-based Southwest Key Programs, the contractor that operates some of the child shelters, to ask them to reconsider their plans. A spokeswoman for Southwest Key didn’t immediately reply to an email seeking comment. 

“And so there comes a point in time we draw a line and for me, the line is with these children,” said Turner during a news conference Tuesday.

On a practical level, the zero tolerance policy has overwhelmed the federal agency charged with caring for the new influx of children who tend to be much younger than teens who typically have been traveling to the U.S. alone. Indeed some recent detainees are infants, taken from their mothers. 

Doctors and lawyers who have visited the shelters said the facilities were fine, clean and safe, but the kids – who have no idea where their parents are – were hysterical, crying and acting out. 

“The shelters aren’t the problem, it’s taking kids from their parents that’s the problem,” said South Texas pediatrician Marsha Griffin who has visited many. 

Alicia Lieberman, who runs the Early Trauma Treatment Network at University of California, San Francisco, said decades of study show early separations can cause permanent emotional damage. 

“Children are biologically programmed to grow best in the care of a parent figure. When that bond is broken through long and unexpected separations with no set timeline for reunion, children respond at the deepest physiological and emotional levels,” she said. “Their fear triggers a flood of stress hormones that disrupt neural circuits in the brain, create high levels of anxiety, make them more susceptible to physical and emotional illness, and damage their capacity to manage their emotions, trust people, and focus their attention on age-appropriate activities.” 

A call for shelter

Days after Sessions announced the zero-tolerance policy, the government issued a call for proposals from shelter and foster care providers to provide services for the new influx of children taken from their families after journeying from Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala and Mexico.

As children are separated from their families, law enforcement agents reclassify them from members of family units to “unaccompanied alien children.” Federal officials said Tuesday that since May, they have separated 2,342 children from their families, rendering them unaccompanied minors in the government’s care. 

While Mexico is still the most common country of origin for families arrested at the border, in the last eight months Honduras has become the fastest-growing category as compared to fiscal year 2017. 

During a press briefing Tuesday, reporters repeatedly asked for an age breakdown of the children who have been taken. Officials from both law enforcement and Health and Human Services said they didn’t how many children were under 5, under 2, or even so little they’re non-verbal. 

“The facilities that they have for the most part are not licensed for tender age children,” said Michelle Brane, director of migrant rights at the Women’s Refugee Commission, who met with a 4-year-old girl in diapers in a McAllen warehouse where Border Patrol temporarily holds migrant families. “There is no model for how you house tons of little children in cots institutionally in our country. We don’t do orphanages, our child welfare has recognized that is an inappropriate setting for little children.” 

So now, the government has to try to hire more caregivers. 

The recent call for proposals by the federal government’s Office of Refugee Resettlement said it was seeking applicants who can provide services for a diverse population “of all ages and genders, as well as pregnant and parenting teens.” 

Even the policy surrounding what age to take away a baby is inconsistent. Customs and Border Protection field chiefs over all nine southwest border districts can use their discretion over how young is too young, officials said. 

For 30 years, Los Fresnos, Texas-based International Education Services ran emergency shelters and foster care programs for younger children and pregnant teens who arrived in the U.S. as unaccompanied minors. At least one resident sued for the right to have an abortion in a high-profile case last March.

For reasons the agency did not explain, three months ago the government’s refugee resettlement office said it was ending their funding to the program and transferred all children to other facilities. This came weeks before the administration began its “zero tolerance” policy, prompting a surge in “tender age” migrant children needing shelter. 

In recent days, members of Congress have been visiting the shelters and processing centers, or watching news report about them, bearing witness to the growing chaos. In a letter sent to Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Tuesday, a dozen Republican senators said separating families isn’t consistent with American values and ordinary human decency.

On Tuesday, a Guatemalan mother who hasn’t seen her 7-year-old son since he was taken from her a month ago sued the Trump administration. She was released from custody while her asylum case is pending and thinks her son, Darwin, might be in a shelter in Arizona. She has been able to speak with him on the telephone.

“I only got to talk to him once and he sounded so sad. My son never used to sound like that, he was such a dynamic boy,” Mejia-Mejia said as she wept. “I call and call and no one will tell me where he is.” 

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