Published: Fri, June 22, 2018
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Life Is No Picnic: White House Congressional Chowdown Gets Chop

Life Is No Picnic: White House Congressional Chowdown Gets Chop

Bowing to pressure from anxious allies, President Donald Trump abruptly reversed himself Wednesday and signed an executive order halting his administration's policy of separating children from their parents when they are detained illegally crossing the USA border. That will run up against a longstanding federal court decree that prohibits the government from holding children in detention for long periods - generally around 20 days.

Trump has continually falsely blamed Democrats for laws he said required the separation of migrant families, though no law requires family separation and the zero-tolerance policy was implemented by his administration alone.

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.

Since early May, soon after Sessions's zero-tolerance policy announcement, at least 2,300 children have been separated from their families at the border.

"The thought that any state would seek to deter parents by inflicting such abuse on children is unconscionable", al-Hussein said on Monday. "The immigration system, it's been a really bad, bad. system, probably the worst anywhere in the world, and we're gonna try and see if we can fix it". They met with Trump with hopes of finding a solution that holds to his hard-line immigration policy and ends the practice of taking migrant children from parents charged with entering the country illegally.

"We can enforce our immigration laws without breaking families apart", said House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-WI. She says "please, please let our children go to their families".

The government hasn't worked out a streamlined way to reunite kids and parents who were separated at the border under a new zero-tolerance policy that requires all immigrants who cross the border illegally to be prosecuted. As I've said, I have been looking at every possible option to stop this policy, to include Senator Feinstein's legislation. He argued that empathy for immigrants is a core American value, and he pointed up "the cruelty of ripping children from their parents' arms".

Trump acted as it became clear that House Republicans were unable to reach consensus on either of two immigration bills they were considering that included provisions to halt family separations.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said that the Obama administration also separated families as well as previous administrations.

However, Republicans, who have a majority in both the upper and lower house, have signaled that they may not have sufficient votes to pass the legislation. According to Nelson, 94 of the teenagers housed at the Homestead facility were taken from their families at the border, with a total of 174 such children housed in facilities across Florida.

The measure would also offer protections to another vulnerable group - Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients - who are undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children.

Medical providers who have visited the facilities say they are safe and clean, but the children are often crying and acting out.

President Donald Trump's fellow Republicans in Congress have been scrambling to craft legislation as videos of youngsters in cages and an audiotape of wailing children have sparked anger at home from groups ranging from clergy to influential business leaders, as well as condemnation overseas.

"Beyond this one problem of immigration- you can mention the word "comprehensive" or you don't have to use it", Mr. Trump said. On the other hand, if authorities detain the family under the Flores agreement, the children must be separated.

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