After touring a San Diego-area immigration detention facility holding children, House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., called on the Trump administration to end its "zero tolerance" policy that includes separating migrant children from families.
Pelosi called it a "heartbreaking, barbaric issue that could be changed in a moment by the president of the United States rescinding his action." She also said the practice "challenges the conscience of our country that it must be changed, must be changed immediately."
The minority leader toured immigration detention facilities in the San Diego area with at least a dozen other congressional Democrats. She said within the last 24 hours there was another delegation that went to the Southwest border in Texas and during the visit to a shelter "held some of the children in their arms."
The Democrats are calling attention to the Trump administration's migrant family separation policy, which has drawn criticism from even some GOP lawmakers. One of the facilities is Casa San Diego, located in the El Cajon area. It houses more than 60 boys separated from their families or who were unaccompanied by parents when they arrived in the United States.
In all, there are at least 27 such shelters in the Southwest border states to house youths up to 17 years of age. There also are plans to add more such facilities, including on military bases in Texas.
The White House's "zero tolerance" border enforcement policy was announced last month by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and means more families crossing into the U.S. illegally are getting split up. Also, even if those families request asylum they are separated.