What's happening at the US border
President Trump hugged an American flag as he walked off the stage at a small business owners event.
Trump's speech to the crowd addressed the controversial border separations, the upcoming House immigration bill and other issues.
Here's the moment:
This is at least the third time Donald Trump has hugged an American flag on stage. Today may be the first since becoming President. He also did it at a rally in Tampa on Oct 24, 2016, and August 19,2015 in Derry, New Hampshire.
President Trump vowed to make changes to the House immigration bill — he declined to say which bill he was referring to — and almost certainly surprising members who were hoping to vote this week.
"So we have a House that’s getting ready to finalize an immigration package that they’re going to brief me on later, and then I’m gonna make changes to it," Trump said. "We have one chance to get it right. We might as well get it right, or let's just keep it going."
House Republicans have been working on two proposals: One more moderate one, and another more conservative option, known as the Goodlatte bill.
Last week, deputy press secretary Raj Shah said Trump fully supported and would willingly sign either.
“The President fully supports both the Goodlatte bill and the House leadership bill," Shah said in a statement. "In this morning's interview, he was commenting on the discharge petition in the House, and not the new package. He would sign either the Goodlatte or the leadership bills.”
President Trump said he will soon seek authorization for a measure that would cut foreign aid to countries sending waves of migrants to the US.
"When countries abuse us by sending people up — not their best — we’re not going to give any more aid to those countries," he said at a small business event in Washington. "Why should we?"
Trump has threatened to withhold aid over immigration before.
In April, Trump said Honduras' US aid is "in play" because of a caravan of migrants moving through Mexico who plan to turn themselves in and request asylum once they make it to the US border.
In May, at a roundtable discussion about immigration, he announced his administration was devising a plan to withhold US foreign aid funds from the home countries of immigrants who illegally enter the United States.
President Trump said he doesn't "want the children to be taken away from parents" — but added that it's necessary if the US wants to prosecute the parents.
"We want to solve family separation, and I don't want the children to be taken away from parents, and when you are prosecute the parents for coming in illegally, which should happen, you have to take the children away."
Trump added that he wants to "end the border crisis" by giving officials the authority and resources to "detain and remove illegal immigrant families altogether."
President Trump issued another attack on the news media, claiming the press is assisting criminal immigrants.
"They are helping these smugglers and these traffickers like nobody would believe," Trump said.
"They know it. They know exactly what they're doing, and it should be stopped," Trump said. "Because what's going on is very unfair to the people of our country, and they violate the law."
President Trump, speaking at a National Federation of Independent Businesses event, said Mexico does "nothing" to stop undocumented immigrants from crossing into the US.
"They come up through Mexico. Mexico does nothing for us. You hear it here: They do nothing for us. They could stop it. They have very, very strong laws. Try staying in Mexico for a couple of days, see how long that lasts. OK? They do nothing for us."
Sen. Bill Nelson traveled to Homestead, Florida, today to tour a temporary shelter for unaccompanied children. But he tells reporters that he was not allowed inside.
“They obviously are hiding something,” Nelson said. “They are using the excuse — get this — 'You have to apply two weeks in advance.'”
Nelson, a Democrat, said it was "not a good reflection on the Trump administration."
“They are embarrassed and don't want us to check on the comfort and welfare of these children. This is absolutely ridiculous,” Nelson said. “I am ashamed of this administration that they are doing this."
He told reporters he is traveling back to Washington and plans to be on the Senate floor tonight.
President Trump will head to Capitol Hill this evening to meet with lawmakers about immigration. CNN's Phil Mattingly, who's reporting from the Capitol, described the mood there:
"Uneasy is probably the way to describe lawmakers right now. When the President comes to the Capitol, he will be visiting basically a place that has become totally enveloped by this issue, by this crisis, by lawmakers on both sides trying to figure out a way out of it."
House Republicans are planning to vote on immigration bills this week, but the efforts were not originally intended to address the issue of family separation.
"The President is going to talk about a broad immigration — mostly related to DACA — effort that's occurring on the House floor later this week. The family separation issue has now been combined with that. And this is a confluence of basically two very different issues that have now crashed into one another, are both very complicated and very emotional and at this point don't have any type of bipartisan support."
Watch Mattingly explain more:
Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, a senior Republican, has called on the Department of Justice to "pause" the family separations at the southern border until Congress can pass legislation that would stop them for good.
He just tweeted:
The Trump administration has vigorously defended its zero-tolerance policy amid outrage over the family separations.
Speaking at the White House Monday, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen reiterated the administration's position that it is enforcing the law and called on Congress to take action.
Previous administrations, however, have avoided separating parents from their children, instead releasing families with court dates for immigration proceedings and various monitoring tactics.
Asked about the policy on Fox News Monday night, Sessions said authorities are "taking care of these children."
With CNN's Laura Jarrett