Trump signs executive order to end separation of immigrant families

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The biggest change here is that families will be detained together while their cases are being prosecuted.

The executive order Trump signed requires the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to "maintain custody of alien families during the pendency of any criminal improper entry or immigration proceedings involving their members" to the extent the law permits and insofar as the department has funding. A particularly harrowing account told of parents being informed that their child was being taken away for a bath - only to be told half an hour later that they would not see them again.

The ACLU are leading the opposition to the separation of families at the USA border, with a petition to the Secretary of Homeland Security that reads: "Stop separating children from their parents in immigration detention".

Laura Ingraham said the media keeps trying to blame President Trump for creating a crisis at the U.S. -Mexico border, but "inconvenient truths" are emerging to undermine that narrative. A leading figure among them - Reverend Franklin Graham - called family separation "disgraceful". "If the president thinks placing families in jail indefinitely is what people have been asking for, he is grossly mistaken", Anthony Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, said in a statement.

Governments from Central America and Mexico welcomed Trump's decision on Wednesday, but said they would remain vigilant to ensure the rights of their citizens were respected. She also worries that it's even more hard for families to pursue asylum claims while they are in federal detention.

President Trump appeared to relent under the weight of huge backlash today, signing an executive order he claims will end the much-criticized practice of separating families at the border.

"We're going to have strong, very strong borders, but we're going to keep the families together", said Trump, who added that he didn't like the "sight" or "feeling" of children separated from their parents.

Trump, speaking to reporters at the White House, said he hoped his measure would be matched with legislation in the U.S. Congress.

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Gene Hamilton, legal counsel to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, said the Justice Department will ask a court to allow the administration to detain families for longer than 20 days. "I feel sorry for the kids. but why can't we protect our borders the way other countries protect theirs?"

The president signed the order in the Oval Office just after 3 p.m. with Vice President Pence and Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen, who has been the subject of intense criticism, present for the signing. At least two senior aides say GOP leadership had no formal notice from the White House that he planned an executive action.

But Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of NY signalled that no such support would be coming, saying it's already in Trump's power to keep the families together.

Iran, which tends to seize any opportunity to criticize United States government policy, also spoke out against the separation of families.

Even some of the president's biggest Republican supporters said they disagree with his policy.

"So we will be officially postponing the congressional picnic for tomorrow".

Both House bills, which Democrats and immigration advocacy groups oppose, would fund Trump's proposed wall and reduce legal migration, in part by denying visas for some relatives of USA residents and citizens living overseas.

Ryan said the proposed legislation also resolves "in a very elegant way" the status of the so-called Dreamers, undocumented immigrants brought to the United States illegally as children who had, under Obama administration initiatives, been offered a path to citizenship.

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