Trump scraps migrant family separation policy; No respite for already separated kids

Caging immigrant children alongside their parents isn’t much of a solution
President Donald Trump holds up an executive order he signed to end family separations at the border
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23 June, 2018

President Trump is holding a meeting with Cabinet officials at the White House on Thursday, a day after signing an executive order to end the administration's policy of separating children from families being prosecuted for crossing the US border illegally. After Trump's executive order, a host of unanswered questions remained, including what will happen to the children already separated from their parents and where the government will house all the newly detained migrants, with the system already bursting at the seams.

Trump's order suggests the government intends to hold the families indefinitely by challenging a 1997 court ruling known as the Flores Settlement, which places a 20-day limit on how long children, alone or with their parents, can be detained.

Trump visited New Hope Children's Shelter in McAllen, Texas, which houses 55 children, six of whom were separated from their families, the rest unaccompanied.

Currently, when parents are taken away for criminal prosecution, their children are given to the Department of Health and Human Services for care and they can spend months in shelters.

President Donald Trump on Wednesday stepped back from his administration's practice of separating immigrant families that illegally cross the border, which had been part of his so-called zero tolerance policy on illegal immigration.

"Mrs. Trump hates to see children separated from their families and hopes both sides of the aisle can finally come together to achieve successful immigration reform", Grisham said in a statement. The first lady signed it as well.

"What is the goal of the House doing good immigration bills when you need 9 votes by Democrats in the Senate, and the Dems are only looking to Obstruct (which they feel is good for them in the Mid-Terms)", Trump said.

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"Doesn't feel great", Rep. Tom Cole, a member of the whip team and an ally of GOP leadership said about the prospects for passage.

Little more than an hour after the story was first posted, the outlet was forced to update its story, clarifying that the Trump administration was not actually suspending prosecutions for parents of migrant children, but rather instructing Border Patrol agents to stop sending parents with children to federal courthouses for prosecution.

Asked about the message, spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham said by email that it was just a jacket.

Shortly before Trump signed the executive order, a White House official revealed that Mrs. Trump had been voicing her opinion to the president for some time.

Melania Trump met with staff in McAllen where over 50 children aged 12 to 17 were housed.

In Texas, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti described uncertainty about access to legal representation for immigrant families and maximum holding periods for those accused of illegally crossing the border.


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