That's what's happening to the Trump administration right now as outrage grows over its policy of separating children from their parents when they arrive at the southern border - not just people crossing illegally, but in some cases families who arrive, present themselves to American authorities, and request asylum.
A new Trump administration policy, which went into effect in May, sought to maximize criminal prosecutions of people caught trying to enter the US illegally.
"Mrs. Trump hates to see children separated from their families and hopes both sides of the aisle can finally come together to achieve successful immigration reform", the first lady's spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham said in a statement. The Evangelical Immigration Table, a group of Evangelical religious organizations including the National Association of Evangelicals and Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, has written to Trump asking to "resolve this situation of families being separated" by reversing the zero-tolerance policy, stating, "the state should separate families only in the rarest of instances".
More on the children: "Just be a dad", Rep. Luis Gutierrez urged Trump on CNN regarding the separation policy, per the Hill. "I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained them for the objective of order". Before April, border patrol agents could use discretion in deciding each case; a parent with children would probably have received somewhat more favorable treatment. "Thanks Matt", she said, without elaborating.
Simon Sandoval-Moshenberg, legal director of the immigrant advocacy program at the Legal Aid Justice Centre in Virginia, said he's never worked with immigrants who said USA policies influenced their decision to move.
About 2,000 children had been separated from their families over a six-week period ending in May, administration officials said Friday.
When the administration thought family separation was a tough-minded policy that would deter illegal immigration, they were proud to tout it.
Rudy Giuliani wants Mueller's 'almost illegal and unethical probe' to be investigated
Tapper had asked about Giuliani's comments to the New York Daily News last week, in which he said, "When the whole thing is over, things might get cleaned up with some presidential pardons".
The push towards immigration votes in the House of Representatives is intensifying the divide among Republicans on one of the party's key issues and fuelling concerns that a voter backlash could cost the GOP control of the House in November.
The temporary shelter near El Paso is the first to be erected by the Trump administration since the new "zero tolerance" policy. However, there is no law mandating the separation of families. At one point on Friday, he said he would not sign the "moderate" bill embraced by the House speaker, Paul Ryan, only to have the White House later contradict that by saying the President had been confused. They are fleeing violence and persecution, and he doesn't see that changing even if the government deports parents.
Mr Trump plans to meet with House Republicans on Tuesday to discuss pending immigration legislation, which faces broad opposition from Democrats and is unlikely to pass in the closely divided Senate.
People participate in a protest against recent USA immigration policy of separating children from their families when they enter the United States as undocumented immigrants in Elizabeth, N.J., June 17, 2018.
A Trump administration policy now charges every adult caught crossing the border illegally with federal crimes, as opposed to referring those with children mainly to immigration courts, as previous administrations did.