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Homeland Security prepares order to end family separations at border

21 June 2018

Trump reversed his policy after heavy criticism from Republican and Democratic lawmakers, his own wife and daughter, and two-thirds of Americans, who strongly disapproved of the move in recent polling. Over 2,700 children have been isolated from their parents since October, pressuring capacity at facilities amid a crackdown by law enforcement officials. That's what he did on Wednesday.

The administration also has sought a permanent legislative fix on the issue, but congressional Republicans said the U.S. House of Representatives was likely to reject two immigration bills created to halt the practice of splitting up families and address a range of other immigration issues.

All the evidence suggests the Trump administration was using its toxic policy as leverage to try to persuade Congress to pass immigration legislation, including funding for Trump's controversial wall on the Mexican border. Finally, Attorney General Jeff Sessions is directed to prioritize the adjudication of cases involving detained families. De Blasio said staff members reported seeing about 350 children since the launch of the "zero tolerance" policy.

"The dilemma is that if you're weak, as some people would like you to be, if you're really, really pathetically weak, the country's going to be overrun with millions of people", Trump said on Wednesday, explaining his internal debate, "and if you're strong, then you don't have any heart". They want open borders, which breeds terrible crime. "Republicans want security. But I am working on something - it never ends!"

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"A person's dignity does not depend on them being a citizen, a migrant, or a refugee".

"It is still very early and we are awaiting further guidance on the matter", said Brian Marriott, senior director of communications at the Administration for Children and Families, a division of Health and Human Services. "I didn't like the sight or the feeling of families being separated".

Reyna Torres Mendivil, Mexico's consul general in San Antonio, told NPR's Audie Cornish that the process would be hampered by the US separation process, which keeps parents in ICE custody while moving children into facilities controlled by the Department of Health and Human Services. At some point Schumer and Pelosi, who are weak on Crime and Border security, will be forced to do a real deal, so easy, that solves this long time problem. Nielsen was heckled at a restaurant Tuesday evening and has faced protesters at her home.

Trump said that he would sign the executive order before he left for Minnesota later today.

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More than 100 protesters demonstrate outside the federal courthouse where a federal judge will hear arguments over the US Justice Department's request to block three California laws that extend protections to people in the country illegally, on June 20, 2018, in Sacramento, California. They spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the effort before its official announcement. The official did not know what prompted Trump to change course.

It remains unclear what will happen with the more than 2,300 children separated from their parents at the border in recent weeks. If those options are exhausted, authorities must find the "least restrictive" setting for the child who arrived without parents.

In 2015, a federal judge in Los Angeles expanded the terms of the settlement, ruling that it applies to children who are caught with their parents as well as to those who come to the U.S. alone.

Democrats are hardly satisfied, however, blasting the executive order for still allowing the indefinite detention of children, even if they're together with their parents.

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