Published: Thu, June 21, 2018
People | By Neil Grant

Trump reverses family separation policy after tech, political backlash

Trump reverses family separation policy after tech, political backlash

Cincinnati resident Andrew Pappas supported President Donald Trump's decision to separate children from parents who crossed the border illegally because, he said, it got Congress talking about immigration reform.

Since 5 May, 2,300 children have been separated from their families at the border in Mexico. In recent days, the Republican president had insisted his hands were tied by law on the issue of family separations and had sought to blame Democrats, although it was his administration that implemented the policy of strict adherence to immigration law.

What court orders is he talking about? Ryan has stated he does not support separation of families. Protesters were galvanized to act after distressing photos and stories hit social media depicting children separated from their parents and sleeping in cages, crammed five in a room at repurposed Walmarts, or in so-called "tent cities" at costs reportedly exceeding what it would take to keep families together.

Peter Schey, class-appointed counsel in the Flores case, told The Associated Press on Wednesday there was nothing in the agreement preventing Homeland Security officials from detaining children with their parents, "as long as the conditions of detention are humane and the child remains eligible for release, unless the child is a flight risk, or a danger to herself or others, or the child's parent does not wish the child to be released".

The exact contents of the executive order have not yet been revealed, but will keep families who have traveled over the border illegally, Bloomberg reported.

What else did Trump order?

The president directed Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen to maintain custody of detained families during criminal proceedings and as their asylum claims are adjudicated. All the money raised will be used to help pay the bonds of parents now being detained by the USA government as well as provide families with legal services.

On Thursday, House Republicans will vote on two immigration bills.

"We will be going through Congress".

Trump hopes to end-run that rule and keep families detained together indefinitely. But as The Washington Post reports, few people are predicting either House measure will pass.

Ryan and other GOP leaders, however, stopped short of predicting passage of a bill that would address other Republican priorities on immigration while also allowing children to remain with their parents while undergoing prosecution for illegally crossing the border.

He said separating children was "unacceptable" adding it was "not the way we do things in Canada". "Our focus is on continuing to provide quality services and care to the minors in HHS/ORR funded facilities and reunifying minors with a relative or appropriate sponsor as we have done since HHS inherited the program". "Reunification is always the ultimate goal of those entrusted with the care of [unaccompanied children], and the administration is working towards that for those [unaccompanied children] now in HHS custody".

News reports in recent days in the US have been filled with emotional images of young children at the border crying for their parents.

We are also going to count on Congress, obviously, but we are signing an executive order in a little while.

That came in the form of the executive order, which Justice Department lawyers had drafted in the days earlier in case the president should want that option.

What does this mean for children already separated?

"Children and families belong in communities, not in family concentration camps", said Angelica Salas, executive director of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles.

"This was a crisis of their own creation, a thinly veiled and spectacularly failed political stunt that deserved every ounce of criticism it received from the public, politicians, religious leaders and corporations", said Atkinson, whose group is chaired by the Rev. Kevin W. Vann, bishop of the Diocese of Orange.

Some on the right are equally dismayed.

The agency's network of immigration jails for single adults is much larger, because ICE leases detention facilities and vacant cells from states and counties across the country. Last month, the president spelled his wife Melania's name as "Melanie".

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