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Former first lady Laura Bush issued a rare castigation of the Trump administration on Sunday, calling family separations at the USA border with Mexico "immoral" and drawing parallels to World War II internment camps. The first lady did, however, also say that she "hopes both sides of the aisle can finally come together", which is in line with Trump's claims that a law created by Democrats is responsible for the family separations, not the "zero tolerance" policy his administration introduced this spring, the New York Times reports.

"Ms Grisham went on to say that "[Melania] believes we need to be a country that follows all laws, but also a country that governs with heart", a line which supports the president's recent policy decision to criminally prosecute all adults attempting to cross illegally into the U.S. over the southern border.

Bush wrote a guest editorial for The Washington Post in which she compared the DHS actions to the US policy of incarcerating Japanese American in camps during World War II.

President Donald Trump has tried to blame Democrats, who hold no levers of power in the government today, for the policy, which has sparked a furious national debate over the moral implications of his hard-line approach to immigration enforcement.

Last month, Nielsen told NPR that her agency is merely enforcing existing laws, and that criticism of the zero tolerance policy "is inappropriate and unacceptable".

The new policy, enforced by Attorney-General Jeff Sessions, charges adults crossing the border illegally in the criminal justice system meaning children are separated from them.

At an impromptu news gathering at the North Lawn Friday, Trump said he, too, "hates" separating parents and children.

Over in Tornillo, at the Marcelino Port of Entry, ABC-7 saw dozens of children who have already been taken to the housing facility.

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.

Trump said on Friday, "I hate the children being taken away", but he also falsely blamed Democrats for a law requiring it.

In May, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a "zero tolerance" policy in which all those apprehended entering the United States illegally, including those seeking asylum, would be criminally charged, which generally leads to children being separated from their parents.

The DHS policy triggered a lawsuit in February; almost a year earlier, members of the Trump administration had floated the idea of separating families as a potential deterrent.

Maine Senator Susan Collins added that "we know from years of experience that we need to fix our immigration laws and that using children is not the answer".

"I live in a border state. I will tell you that nobody likes this policy", she said, making it sound like the White House didn't have a choice on the matter.

The head of the Department of Homeland Security bashed the media Sunday for their reporting on the increasingly volatile immigration controversy, writing in a string of tweets: "We do not have a policy of separating families at the border". "This must not be who we are as a nation", said Representative Jerrold Nadler.

"We pride ourselves on acceptance", the former first lady wrote. We want you to imagine for a moment what this might be like for a child: to flee the place you have called your home because it is not safe to say and then embark on a risky journey to an unknown destination, only to be ripped apart from your sole sense of security with no understanding of what just happened to you or if you will ever see your family again. Many are now being held in juvenile detention centers.

Miller pushed the policy to fruition after March's increase in illegal immigration, which Trump touted as a top priority in his 2016 campaign. Former President Barack Obama also grappled with the plight of undocumented child immigrants and detained them when they were unaccompanied by caregivers.