The Trump administration has firmly defended its policy of separating children from parents who are suspected of crossing illegally from Mexico – despite widespread criticism.

At a White House press conference, the Homeland Security Secretary, Kirstjen Nielsen, described the United States as a country of compassion and heart. She urged congress to change the law to resolve what she called “an illegal immigration crisis.”

The Democratic senator Patrick Leahy said the separation policy was damaging America’s reputation abroad.

Key words and phrases
criticise someone for doing something wrong
-Management will rebuke any member of staff who arrives late for work too often.
-The ambassador was sternly rebuked for causing offense to the royal guests.

strong negative reaction to something
-The backlash against the government’s tax increase forced a policy change.
-Despite the media backlash, the pop star would not apologise for what she had said.

standing by
supporting and defending something
-The CEO is standing by the staff, despite accusations of negligence.
-The manager stood by his goalkeeper even though he’d made a terrible mistake.

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