Trump's Executive Order Misspells (and Ends) Family Separation Policy

President Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday reversing the separation policy

President Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday reversing the separation policy

Hours before the executive order was signed, Pope Francis said he stood with the USA bishops, who had condemned the family separation policy, which has led to children being held in government shelters while their parents are sent to federal prisons.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) now separates most families when they are apprehended for illegal border crossing, Reid notes.

Die-hard supporters of Donald Trump say they remain steadfast despite an uproar over his "zero-tolerance" policy on illegal immigration that led to the separation of some children from families. But immigration advocates criticize that move as allowing a more indefinite detention of families until criminal and removal proceedings are completed, signaling legal battles ahead.

The executive order does not undo or diminish Sessions' zero tolerance policy, which has caused the spike in parent-child separations at the southern border.

Under the administration's policy, all unlawful crossings are referred for prosecution - a process that moves adults to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service and sends many children to facilities run by the Department of Health and Human Services.

"We're going to have very strong borders, but we're going to keep families together", he said.

Video footage of children sitting in cages and an audiotape of wailing children had sparked anger as the images were broadcast worldwide.

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United chief executive Oscar Munoz said: "We want no part of it".

"The administration must end this gratuitous, cruel, and counterproductive policy that has brought such pain to innocent children and so much shame on this nation", Schumer said, adding that no law requires the separation of children from their families. Several White House officials advised the President to accept a stand alone bill addressing family separations or some other solution to this issue.

Last year, Ivanka Trump did offer strong words against Roy Moore, the Republican candidate for Senate in Alabama, who was accused of sexual misconduct with teenage girls during the late 1970s, when he was in his 30s.

One possible reason for Trump's about-face may very well be his wife. I feel very strongly about it.

"You have people that want absolute security and safety, and you have people that do look at the children and then you have people like me, and I think most of the people in this room, that want both", he said. For teens housed in secured facilities, the placement process became more arduous in 2017 after policy changes required Office of Refugee Resettlement Director Scott Lloyd to sign off on any placement. Instinctively combative and fond of chaos, Trump usually digs in on controversial policies, rather than backing down.

British Prime Minister Theresa May declared the United States is wrong to separate migrant children from their parents, but rejected calls to cancel Trump's visit to the UK next month. She told The Associated Press at the time: "There's a special place in hell for people who prey on children".

At the same time, the Justice Department went to court in an attempt to overturn a decades-old settlement that limits to 20 days the amount of time migrant children can be locked up with their families. Any attempt by the government to modify the agreement would likely face opposition from the lawyers who negotiated it, according to representatives of immigrant rights organizations.

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In addition, the order blames Congress and court decisions made in the past for putting the Trump administration in a position where it had to separate families in order to effectively enforce the law. Media reports have appeared about heart-rending scenes of children crying for their parents.

Nearly 2,000 immigrant children were forcibly separated from their parents between April 19 and May 31 following arrests involving illegal entry into the United States, according to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

It is not immediately clear whether, or when, detained children will be reunited with their parents.

What does the executive order mean for House Republican legislation?

Even as late as Tuesday evening, Trump adamantly insisted to staff that his hardline stance on immigration - the most potent issue of his 2016 presidential campaign - would help the Republican Party with voters in November's midterm elections.

House Republicans will postpone a vote on their immigration compromise legislation until Friday, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy told reporters as he left a leadership meeting Thursday afternoon.

Republicans have never been able to pass a big immigration overhaul on their own, despite talking about the issue for years.

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