The Latest: Laura Bush says immigration policy ‘cruel’

FILE - In this June 15, 2018 file photo, Chris Olson, of Lake Wallenpaupack, Pa., holds a sign outside Lackawanna College where U.S. Attorney Jeff Sessions spoke on immigration policy and law enforcement actions, in Scranton, Pa. The Trump administration's move to separate immigrant parents from their children on the U.S.-Mexico border has turned into a full-blown crisis in recent weeks, drawing denunciation from the United Nations, Roman Catholic bishops and countless humanitarian groups. (Butch Comegys/The Times-Tribune via AP, File) –The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the Trump administration and its policy to separate migrant children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border (all times local):

11:45 p.m.

Former first lady Laura Bush says the policy of separating immigrant parents and children along the nation’s southern border is “cruel,” ”immoral” and “it breaks my heart.”

Bush was writing a guest column for The Washington Post Sunday and compared the policy to the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II.

“I appreciate the need to enforce and protect our international boundaries, but this zero-tolerance policy is cruel,” she wrote.

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She said “the U.S. government “should not be in the business of warehousing children in converted box stores or making plans to place them in tent cities in the desert outside of El Paso.”

She said it was “eerily reminiscent of the Japanese American internment camps of World War II,” which she said are “now considered to have been one of the most shameful episodes in U.S. history.”

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4:30 p.m.

First lady Melania Trump is wading into the emotional controversy over policies enacted by her husband’s administration that have increased the number of migrant children being separated from their parents.

Mrs. Trump’s spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham says the first lady believes “we need to be a country that follows all laws,” but also one “that governs with heart.”

She says that Mrs. Trump “hates to see children separated from their families” and hopes “both sides of the aisle can finally come together to achieve successful immigration reform.”

Nearly 2,000 children were separated from their families over a six-week period in April and May after Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a new “zero-tolerance” policy that refers all cases of illegal entry for criminal prosecution.

Trump has tried to blame the practice on a law passed by Democrats that doesn’t exist.

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10:40 a.m.

A top White House adviser is distancing the Trump administration from responsibility for a jump in the number of migrant children being separated from their parents by American authorities at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Kellyanne Conway tells NBC’s “Meet the Press” that “nobody likes” pulling apart families.

Nearly 2,000 children were separated from their families over a six-week period in April and May after Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a new “zero-tolerance” policy that refers all cases of illegal entry for criminal prosecution.

Conway rejects the idea that President Donald Trump is using the kids as leverage to get Democrats to negotiate on immigration and his border wall.

But she says, “If the Democrats are serious, they’ll come together again and try to close these loopholes and get real immigration reform.”

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