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He also said people who break other laws in the U.S. are regularly separated from their families by being sent to jail or prison.

“No one wants to break up a family and send someone to jail. But we’re not sending these people to jail. We’re sending them home,” he said. “We’re giving them an opportunity to eventually come back in this country, if they do so the right way. I don’t see that as harsh. I see that as the reality of how justice works in America.”