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The Latest: Top Dem calls for Kirstjen Nielsen to resign

July 31, 2018

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on (all times local):

10:45 a.m.

A top Democratic senator says Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen should resign. Illinois Democrat Richard Durbin made the remark at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing where lawmakers from both parties criticized the Trump administration’s separation of migrant children from families.

Durbin says President Donald Trump’s family policy is “cruel” and says, “Someone in this administration has to accept responsibility.”

Committee Chairman Charles Grassley says Trump’s crackdown on people illegally crossing the border from Mexico was well-intentioned but has had unintended consequences. The Iowa Republican says the administration has “mishandled” family separations.

He also cited reports that immigrants have experienced sexual and other abuse at some detention facilities and said those held must be treated humanely.

Officials from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and other agencies planned to testify.

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12:13 a.m.

The Senate Judiciary Committee is demanding answers from federal immigration officials about the Trump administration’s separation of migrant children from their families and its struggle to reunite them.

But a hearing scheduled for Tuesday on the topic may have a wider focus after the committee’s bipartisan leaders asked federal investigators to probe reports of sexual and other abuse of immigrants at government detention facilities.

The committee chairman, Republican Chuck Grassley of Iowa, and top panel Democrat Dianne Feinstein of California asked late Monday for an examination of alleged sexual, physical and emotional mistreatment of immigrants held at agency facilities. The senators say the problems may have been occurring since 2014 or earlier.

The request for the investigation elevates yet another issue to the Trump administration’s list of immigration headaches.

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