White House looks to contain damage as Laura Bush joins critics of family separations

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The Trump administration sought to distance itself Sunday from the controversial policy of separating migrant children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border amid condemnation from some prominent Republican voices — including former first lady Laura Bush.

“Nobody likes” breaking up families and “seeing babies ripped from their mothers’ arms,” Kellyanne Conway, a top adviser to President Donald Trump, said during her weekend media blitz.

Conway also denied Trump was using the policy as leverage to force Democrats into negotiating immigration reform that also includes one of the president’s key campaign promises – the border wall.

Speculation about an elaborate strategy was fueled after Trump tweeted Saturday a call for Congress to work on a new immigration bill.

“Democrats can fix their forced family breakup at the Border by working with Republicans on new legislation, for a change!” he wrote.

The president previously pointed at Democrats for the existence of the “horrible law” and urged them to support its repeal.

“Put pressure on the Democrats to end the horrible law that separates children from there [sic] parents once they cross the Border into the U.S.” he tweeted last month.

Over the weekend, Conway echoed the president, saying Democrats should begin working to get “real immigration reform” passed. She didn’t reveal if Trump was willing to stop the family separation policy, saying only that “the president is ready to get meaningful immigration reform across the board.”

The administration continues to face heavy criticism for enforcing the law, which has led to more than 2,000 children being separated from families who tried to enter the U.S. illegally in just the six weeks since U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the “zero-tolerance” approach.

The latest critics include former first lady Laura Bush, wife of former President George W. Bush, who deemed the policy as “cruel” and “immoral.”

“I live in a border state. I appreciate the need to enforce and protect our international boundaries, but this zero-tolerance policy is cruel. It is immoral. And it breaks my heart,” she wrote in an op-ed article for the Washington Post.

h/t Fox News

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