GOP lawmakers to ask Trump to dial back ‘zero tolerance’ immigration policy

​Republican lawmakers are expected to confront President Trump ​when they meet on Capitol Hill on Tuesday to pressure him about dialing back the “zero tolerance” immigration policy that is resulting in children being ripped away from their parents at the border, a report said Monday.

​The legislators are hoping that the daily images of children being separated from their parents and housed in converted big-box stores will persuade him to change the policy announced in April by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Axios reported.

​They’re aware that he responds emotionally to images, recalling how he sent a volley of cruise missiles at a Syrian airfield in April 2017 after seeing photos and videos of kids being gassed.

The president will be a guest of GOP House members Tuesday evening to discuss competing immigration bills.

The report said sources close to the White House are aware that the images of children separated from their parents are providing fodder for the Democrats as November’s midterm elections approach and emphasize the left’s worst views of the administration.

But Trump sees the issue as a means to force Democrats to the negotiating table and accept his plan to enhance border security and provide funding to build a wall, the Washington Post reported.

The Axios report said two voices entered the debate Sunday that could be seen as game-changers.

First lady Melania Trump released a statement opposing the separation of children from their parents.

​”Mrs. Trump hates to see children separated from their families and hopes both sides of the aisle can finally come together to achieve successful immigration reform​,” said the statement issued by her spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham. “She believes we need to be a country that follows all laws, but also a country that governs with heart.”

A​nd former first lady Laura Bush wrote an op-ed published in the Washington Post that ​said the separations “break my heart.”

​”​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.​

Sessions announced the “zero-tolerance” policy for immigrants in April.

Between April 19 and May 31, 1,995 minors were separated from 1,940 adults, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

Sessions reinforced that policy in a speech last month directed at immigrant families.

“If you are smuggling a child, then we will prosecute you, and that child will be separated from you as required by law,” ​Sessions said. “If you don’t like that, then don’t smuggle children over our border.”

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