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From April 19 to May 31, the Department of Homeland Security numbers show 1,995 minors were separated from their parents or legal guardians.

"The policy now being enacted where children are being separated from their parents even when they're applying for asylum, we want that to stop", said Acosta.

Led by New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas, 21 top state prosecutors from California to MA sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen on Tuesday, calling the policy inhumane and draconian.

Sharing information with DHS, which oversees Immigration and Customs Enforcement, will likely mean parents and family members in the US illegally will not come forward for the children out of fear they'll be arrested - leading to longer stays for the children in the ORR shelters. In the past, families in this situation have typically been subject to civil deportation proceedings instead of criminal prosecution.

The Trump administration has vigorously defended its zero-tolerance policy amid outrage over the family separations. The new figures tally people who tried to enter the USA between official border crossings. He said in a statement that as the son of a social worker, he knows the "trauma that comes with children being separated from their parents", The Wichita Eagle reported. "There is no law that suddenly required separating parents from their children", Oliver said.

"No one, especially my personal friend, the kind-hearted Attorney General Jeff Sessions, desires that a mother or father be separated from their children", wrote Drollinger, in a message to supporters on Friday. The Obama administration also detained illegal immigrants at the border, but would detain parents and children together.

"Right now, we are in a circumstance where either we choose to enforce the law or we choose to ignore it", a DHS official said.

He told reporters at the White House on Friday: "I hate it".

On Sunday's episode of "Last Week Tonight", Oliver pointed out that the Bible "is not a government document", regardless of U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions's use of the holy book to defend the administration on the family-separation issue. He then went on to quote the scripture Romans 13, which he said commanded that people obey the law because God has "ordained the government for his purposes".

The Republican-led House of Representatives may vote next week on two immigration measures - a hard-line bill and the one seen as a compromise between moderate and conservative factions that would end the family separations. The comments came as hundreds of protestors in dozens of USA cities took to the streets in objection of the policy.

"Ultimately", she says, "what that means is that children will be put into riskier situations or they may remain in custody for much longer".