California Democrats tour housing facilities for immigrant children

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- As pictures and audio surface of families being torn apart at the Mexico-United States border, backlash continues to spread.

RELATED: AUDIO: Migrant children separated from parents wail at U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility

Protesters are calling for change on the streets of Fresno.

RELATED: Immigration policy protest as Ivanka Trump visits Fresno

Congressman Jim Costa (D-Fresno) said he'll be returning to Washington, D.C. on Tuesday with the same message.

"We must enforce the law, but that doesn't mean we need to separate children from their mothers or their fathers."

Costa, who toured multiple facilities Monday, says he was heartbroken by what he saw.

He said the children came from countries like El Salvador and Guatemala, fleeing violence.

The Trump administration is defending it's "zero tolerance" policy.

Earlier Monday Homeland Security Secretary Kirstien Nielsen said, "By entering our country illegally, often in dangerous circumstances, illegal immigrants have put their children at risk."

RELATED: DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen says migrant children are being treated humanely

The administration says it's a deterrent for those who use children to claim asylum fraudulently.

But Nielsen points out, not all of the children in the care of the government have been separated from their parents at the border.

"10,000 of those currently in custody were sent by their parents with strangers to undertake a completely dangerous and deadly travel alone. We now care for them."

All of this is happening as the house is set to vote on two immigration bills this week. Democrats say both were crafted by Republicans alone, with no effort to reach a bipartisan deal.

"Holding dreamers and holding children as leverage to reach a bipartisan agreement I think is a nonstarter," said Costa.
Copyright © 2021 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.