Richmond Times-Dispatch - - RE­MEM­BER­ING -

Im­ages of weep­ing chil­dren and an­guished, con­fused par­ents were splashed across news­pa­pers and tele­vi­sion.

The zero-tol­er­ance pol­icy over the sum­mer was meant in part to de­ter fam­i­lies from il­le­gally cross­ing the bor­der. Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cials say the large in­crease in the num­ber of Cen­tral Amer­i­can fam­i­lies ar­riv­ing be­tween ports of en­try has vastly strained the sys­tem.

Ac­cord­ing to the gov­ern­ment data, from April 19 through Sept. 30, 170 fam­ily units were sep­a­rated be­cause they were found to not be re­lated — that in­cluded 197 adults and 139 mi­nors. That could also in­clude grand­par­ents or other rel­a­tives if there was no proof of re­la­tion­ship. Other sep­a­ra­tions were be­cause the chil­dren were not mi­nors, the data showed.

House Mi­nor­ity Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., on Thurs­day re­jected the idea of pay­ing for Trump’s bor­der wall in ex­change for help­ing hun­dreds of thou­sands of young im­mi­grants avoid de­por­ta­tion.

Fund­ing for the wall — a top Trump pri­or­ity — and le­gal pro­tec­tions for so-called Dream­ers, a key Demo­cratic goal, should not be linked, Pelosi said. Mi­grants trav­el­ing with chil­dren walk up a hill to a wait­ing U.S. Bor­der Pa­trol ve­hi­cle just in­side San Diego af­ter climb­ing over the bor­der bar­rier from Mex­ico.

“They’re two dif­fer­ent sub­jects,” she said. Pelosi will likely be the new speaker in the next Congress, when Democrats will con­trol the House. The Se­nate will re­main in Re­pub­li­can hands.

Her com­ments came as the House and Se­nate ap­proved a stop­gap bill Thurs­day to keep the gov­ern­ment funded through Dec. 21. The mea­sure, ap­proved by voice votes in near-empty cham­bers, now goes to the White House.

Trump promised to sign the two-week ex­ten­sion to al­low for cer­e­monies this week hon­or­ing for­mer Pres­i­dent Ge­orge H.W. Bush, who died Nov. 30. But he wants the next fund­ing pack­age to in­clude at least $5 bil­lion for his pro­posed wall, some­thing Democrats have re­jected.

Trump is set to meet Tues­day at the White

House with Pelosi and Se­nate Mi­nor­ity Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y.

Most Democrats con­sider the wall “im­moral, in­ef­fec­tive, ex­pen­sive,” said Pelosi, not­ing that Trump promised dur­ing the 2016 cam­paign that Mex­ico would pay for it, an idea that Mex­ico has re­peat­edly ridiculed.

Schumer said Thurs­day that a bi­par­ti­san Se­nate plan for $1.6 bil­lion in bor­der se­cu­rity fund­ing does not in­clude money for the 30-foot con­crete wall Trump has en­vi­sioned.

“This is some­thing Democrats have al­ways been for: smart, ef­fec­tive, ap­pro­pri­ate bor­der se­cu­rity,” he said on the Se­nate floor.


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