Trump reverses family separation policy after tech, political backlash

Trump contradicts team on separating families

US President Donald Trump on Wednesday signed an executive order to end the policy of separating children of irregular migrants on the US border amid domestic and global outrage.

An earlier report from Fox News Channel said the Trump administration was considering an executive order that would allow immigrant families who cross the border illegally to stay together longer than is now permitted.

"Are we a nation that accepts the cruelty of ripping children from their parents' arms, or are we a nation that values families, and works to keep them together?"

By reversing the family separation policy but continuing to aggressively prosecute adult undocumented immigrants ― while detaining their children alongside them ― the Trump administration could be setting itself up for a legal battle with human rights activists over the Flores agreement.

In a shift from previous policy, families will now be held together during the process of prosecution and deportation at the border.

"So we're talking about children in some cases who literately can't even communicate, have no idea what's happening to them, no ability to be in touch with their families", he said.

But Mark Krikorian, executive director of the D.C. -based Center for Immigration Studies supported the president.

"We are keeping a very powerful border and it continues to be - we continue to have a zero-tolerance policy". As such, they would be held in federal facilities and separated from their children.

Benjamin Griveaux, a French government spokesman, said the separation policy showed that France and the United States "don't share the same values".

A potential executive order could emerge as a fallback option for the administration if it wants to alleviate the crisis should the House bill not pass - but talk that it is a possibility seems likely to undermine momentum for Republican senators to take a tough immigration vote.

It was not immediately clear when Mr Trump's order would be implemented. Neither Democrat Barack Obama nor Republican George W. Bush pursued a policy of separating children from their parents for illegal border crossings.

"To stop family separations once and for all, the administration must end the zero-tolerance policy", Olivares said.

Justice Department officials have huddled since Wednesday morning working on an executive order for the President to sign that will address the separation of families, according to a source familiar with the plans.

The president's U-turn on the separation of children from their parents comes amid growing fury across the US's political spectrum over the detention of children, some as young as seven months old.

Under the "zero-tolerance" crackdown that the Trump administration rolled out in May, all border crossers - include first-time offenders - are criminally charged and jailed pending trial. "But we also don't want families to be locked up in internment centers in America".

After visiting Capitol Hill Tuesday night to rally a broad immigration bill, Trump said Wednesday he still hopes that Congress will act. It also calls for prioritising immigration cases involving detained families.

As NBC News points out, the order does not include any plans on how the government will reunite children now separated from their families. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said his department will start reuniting detained immigrant children with their parents - but he made no specific commitment on how quickly that can be accomplished.

House leaders have been considering two competing bills.

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