"It's zero tolerance. I don't think you have to justify it", Bannon, who was also CEO of Trump's presidential campaign, said to ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl in an exclusive interview on "This Week" Sunday. Almost 2,000 migrant children - 1,995 - were separated from 1,940 adults between April 19 and May 31, after being caught illegally crossing the border, a Department of Homeland Security official told reporters during a conference call Friday.
In a recent six-week period there were almost 2,000 family separations.
While the documents don't speak to the conceptualization of the policy or the internal deliberations that preceded it, they call into question the administration's justification for the policy. Bush said the Trump administration policy led by Attorney General Jeff Sessions punishes children for their parents' decision to cross into the U.S.
Trump administration officials have argued that the policy is in place because Democrats won't agree to negotiate stricter immigration laws. "It is immoral. And it breaks my heart".
"Why don't the Democrats give us the votes to fix the world's worst immigration laws?"
She wrote, "this zero-tolerance policy is cruel".
Laura Bush, married to the last Republican president before Trump, took the highly unusual step of publishing a Father's Day op-ed in the Washington Post on Sunday, in which she said "this zero-tolerance policy is cruel". Susan Collins expressed concern about it and a former adviser to Trump questioned using the policy to pressure Democrats on immigration legislation.
But despite his calls for lawmakers to work together on immigration, Trump seemed to pour cold water on current attempts to draw up a centrist immigration bill. Several religious groups, including some conservative ones, have pushed to stop the practice of separating immigrant children from their parents.
The policy has divided Republicans, with its defenders pointing out that children are routinely taken from parents accused of crimes. The White House has said Trump would sign either of those. Two competing bills are headed to the floor, a hard-line immigration measure that is expected to go down, and a compromise version crafted by the House Republican leadership. Bush wrote. "I appreciate the need to enforce and protect our worldwide boundaries, but this zero-tolerance policy is cruel".
"Ripping vulnerable little children away from their parents is an utter atrocity that debases America's values and our legacy as a beacon of hope, opportunity and freedom", she said Monday.
Kelly, Trump's former head of Department of Homeland Security, told NPR last month the policy is one "no one hopes will be used extensively or for very long".