Published: Fri, June 22, 2018
Global Media | By Derrick Guzman

Donald Trump, nervous Republicans scramble for legislative fix to family separation crisis

Donald Trump, nervous Republicans scramble for legislative fix to family separation crisis

A subsequent ruling in 2016 required the government to release underage migrants from immigration detention within 72 hours and place them in the "least restrictive" settings possible, while generally barring the government from keeping children in family detention centres for more than 20 days.

Former President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden both denounced the Trump administration's "zero-tolerance" policy that is contributing to the high number of children being separated from their families by the United States government once they illegally cross the border.

"It's about keeping families together while at the same time making sure that we have a very powerful, very strong border", Trump told reporters as he signed the measure, adding that he doesn't like the sight of children being separated from their families.

The Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy toward people who cross the border illegally, rolled out earlier this year, has been widely condemned and resulted in the separation thousands of migrant children from their parents.

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen has drafted an executive action directing her department to keep families together after they are detained crossing the border illegally.

The effort would mark a dramatic departure for an administration that has been insisting, wrongly, that it has no choice but to separate families apprehended at the border because of the law and a court decision.


"Are they going ask for permission or seek forgiveness?" he said.

"We want a country with heart". Republicans want security. But I am working on something - it never ends!'

President Donald Trump has said he's "1,000 percent" behind both GOP bills, but restive House Republicans have all but begged GOP leaders for more clarity about what the president would actually sign.

We want to keep families together.

US Customs and Border Protection said on Tuesday that 2,342 children had been separated from their parents at the border between May 5 and June 9.

"We don't think families should be separated, period".


Trump, whose administration weeks ago began separating hundreds of children from their parents at the border, did not describe the specifics of the order. He argued that empathy for immigrants is a core American value, and he pointed up "the cruelty of ripping children from their parents' arms". Under Trump, adults are now charged with the criminal offense of improper entry, which sends them to federal prison, which in turn requires children to be taken away.

The latest talk around the newest proposed immigration bills has sparked debates about what the government should do to protect both families and border policies.

But Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., says he is heartened by the debate because he is seeing Americans "standing up for children, standing up for those who are in need". The House is slated to vote on a pair of immigration bills on Thursday. "Congress must pass the Keep Families Together Act for these innocent kids, and to show the world - and ourselves - who we really are".

However, Obama was criticized for detaining families together, some of which were held indefinitely while their cases were resolved.

President Donald Trump's fellow Republicans in Congress have been scrambling to craft legislation as videos of youngsters in cages and an audiotape of wailing children have sparked anger at home from groups ranging from clergy to influential business leaders, as well as condemnation overseas.

He reminded Americans that almost everyone in this country comes from somewhere else, and that those who were born into citizenship here should recognize how fortunate they are.


While Mr Trump held firm to his tough immigration stance in an earlier appearance on Tuesday, he acknowledged during the closed-door meeting that the coverage of family separations was taking a toll.

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