DHS: Most Illegals at Border Don't Meet Criteria to Enter US

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The Health and Human Services Department is considering housing at military bases those children picked up crossing the USA border illegally either alone or after being separated from their parents by the government, according to two US officials.

"We are begging you, if in fact this is going to be the outcome, where we're separating children, in some cases infants, from their parents, we need to know where these kids are", said North Dakota Democrat Heidi Heitkamp.

"[.] If you enter our country illegally, we will refer you for prosecution, and we will prosecute you", she said. Rather, Nielsen said, if a person crosses the border illegally: "We will refer you for prosecution".

But Nielsen also agreed with senators that more must be done to protect the children who either come to the USA without their parents or are separated from them. "You've broken USA law". Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., that the government could do a better job of monitoring the children it places in a family's custody to make sure they're safe.

"I have not resigned", she said in response to reporters' questions as she left a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on Tuesday, according to Politico.

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"I couldn't agree with your concerns more", Nielsen said.

The Trump administration last month testified it lost track of 20% - or almost 1,500 children - of the undocumented minors that had been in its custody over a three-month period at the end of 2017.

Health and Human Services, which oversees about 100 shelters in 14 states for children who are caught at the border, said in a statement that it routinely evaluates additional locations for temporary housing. The Associated Press, citing two government sources, said four USA military bases in Texas and Arkansas may soon be used to house some of the children.

Nielsen denied that she had been asked to separate illegal alien parents from their children as a method of deterrence.

In particular, CNN's Jon Avlon took Nielsen to task for saying Americans ought to have more "compassion" for people who were victims of crimes committed by undocumented immigrants than they have for undocumented immigrant children who get separated from their parents.

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