Trump to sign executive order to end family separations at the border

Cristina Cross
June 21, 2018

President Trump moved to end his administration's policy separating children from immigrant parents who cross into the US illegally - but California elected officials and activists blasted the new practice of detaining immigrant families together indefinitely.

"It's about keeping families together while at the same time making sure that we have a very powerful, very strong border", Trump said as he signed the order in a hastily arranged Oval Office gathering.

The growing crowds at these detention centers have thrust Trump's immigration policy into the spotlight, and he has faced calls to end the separation of families from Democrats, Republicans, celebrities and commentators, many of whom were silent while the Obama administration did the same thing. The order makes it clear the the government will continue to prosecute everyone crossing the border illegally. So instead of detaining parents and treating their child as if they were unaccompanied minors, the government will now detain families together.

The president had, for most part, struck a defiant note as he tried to use the plight of the children to force congress to pass a broader law enhancing border security, curbing family based immigration. "But we do want to keep families together", he said, per CNN.

The House of Representatives was to vote on Thursday on two bills created to halt the practice of separating families and to address other immigration issues.

About two dozen immigrant children joined Democratic lawmakers on the House floor as the lawmakers decry the separation of families at the border.

The spectacular about-face comes after more than 2,300 children were stripped from their parents and adult relatives after illegally crossing the border since May 5 and placed in tent camps and other facilities, with no way to contact their relatives.

Hatch and 12 Republican senators call for pause in family separations
Democrats say the crisis is of Trump's own making, and accuse him of using children as pawns. And when the children are released, their parents are generally released as well.

Republican senators have urged US President Donald Trump to end his "zero tolerance" policy.

Former President Barack Obama weighed in on the family separation crisis Wednesday, calling on Americans to "find a way to welcome the refugee and the immigrant". President Trump is reportedly signing an executive order to get around this 1997 ruling. He said that no one has had the "political courage" to take care of the issue which he claims has gone on for over 60 years. Images of the children shown to him by his daughter, Ivanka, are said to have helped sway him. It shows numerous young detainees, in what appears to be similar cages to the other photo, who have separated from their families.

A recent Department of Homeland Security (DHS) report confirmed that human smuggling rings are exploiting children in order to prevent the detention of the undocumented immigrants they're smuggling into the United States.

That led to confusion and difficulty for parents as they tried to reunite with their children, who in some cases were sent across the country.

The children who have already been separated from their parents by Border Patrol agents reportedly range from infants to teens.

Although Trump's crackdown is aimed at deterring irregular migration to the USA, the North American country has witnessed has witnessed a surge since October, with many migrants fleeing violence and extreme poverty in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.

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