British Prime Minister Theresa May told members of parliament Wednesday the United States’ practice of housing children in cages is extremely troubling and inappropriate.
“The pictures of children being held in what appear to be cages are deeply disturbing. This is wrong. This is not something that we agree with,” May said.
May also said she would raise the issue with U.S. President Donald Trump when she meets with him in Britain next month.
The Trump administration has been the target of a growing chorus of criticism as images of migrant children in cages inside U.S. Border Patrol processing stations were distributed by the news media and on social media channels.
More than 2,300 children have been taken away from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border since the White House announced its “zero-tolerance” policy early last month.
U.S. law requires child migrants traveling alone to be sent to facilities run by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services within three days of being detained. The agency is then required to place the children in shelters or foster homes until they are reunited with a relative or a sponsor pending immigration court hearings.
Last month, however, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the government would criminally prosecute everyone who crosses the U.S.-Mexico border illegally, a decision that has led to the breakup of migrant families, with hundreds of children being placed under the government’s care.
Trump told Republican lawmakers Tuesday he supported their attempts to draft immigration legislation that would end the practice of separating children from families.
The House of Representatives is set to vote Thursday on competing Republican bills overhauling U.S. immigration laws and boosting border security.