Trump Approves Suspension Order of Separating Families

Remigio Civitarese
Giugno 23, 2018

"I call on the Oversight Committee to start the process of accounting for every single child the Trump Administration separated from his or her parents in the name of the United States of America", said Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) ranking member of the House Oversight Committee.

President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday to end his administration's policy of separating undocumented immigrant families and instead detain parents with their children.

At the meeting when he announced the executive order to roll back the family separation policy, he riffed on and on about immigration and how tough he needed to be "or our country would be overrun by people, by crime, by all of the things that we don't stand for and we don't want". Even though internal discussions about confronting the child detentions had been ongoing for a week, Trump's decision to sign an executive order still caught some of his closest aides off-guard. As much as Republicans say they hate the current immigration system, they've shown time and again they're perfectly happy to shake their fists at it but leave it in place.

"It's about keeping families together", Trump told reporters at the White House, after signing an executive order Wednesday that he said would end the practice.

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

They believe Trump when he falsely claims that he has no choice but to enforce an existing law.

Trump's wife, Melania Trump, in private conversations with the president, urged him to do something to end the humanitarian crisis, a White House official said.

"It continues to be a zero tolerance", Trump said Wednesday. "I think anybody with a heart would feel very strongly about it". I feel very strongly about it.

Wednesday's move was the most significant policy reversal by Trump since he took office in January 2017.

When the crisis of family separations erupted at the border, GOP leaders revised the bill to bolster a provision requiring parents and children to be held together in custody.

The president and his top aides have insisted for days that they had no choice but to separate children from their parents due to unspecified US laws.

The plain truth is that the Trump administration considered the breaking of families to be one of the features of its policy on illegal migrants. But immigrant children are only allowed to be held for 20 days, according to a 21-year-old landmark court decision known as the Flores agreement.

The executive order seeks to work around a 1997 consent decree that bars the federal government from keeping children in immigration detention - even if they are with their parents - for more than 20 days. But, at least for the next few weeks, it would keep families together while they are in custody, expedite their cases and ask the Defense Department to help house them. "Jail is never an appropriate place for a child".

Under the administration's "zero-tolerance" policy introduced earlier this year, immigrant families who cross the border illegally are separated, with parents facing federal prosecution on illegal entry charges and children placed into the care of the Department of Health and Human Services.

President Donald Trump's administration separated nearly 2,000 immigrant children from their parents at the border over the span of six weeks from mid-April through May.

Trump's order, drafted by Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, directs her department to keep families together after they are detained for illegal border-crossing.

Brookings Institution senior fellow Bill Galston, a presidential scholar and a Clinton White House official, described it as "classic blame shifting" in the face of mounting bipartisan criticism and amid heartbreaking tales of toddlers kept from their parents.

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