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Trump announces he will sign an executive action to end family separation

Trump announces he will sign an executive action to end family separation

President Trump moved to end his administration's policy separating children from immigrant parents who cross into the US illegally - but California elected officials and activists blasted the new practice of detaining immigrant families together indefinitely.

"And to watch those families broken apart in real time puts to us a very simple question: are we a nation that accepts the cruelty of ripping children from their parents' arms, or are we a nation that values families, and works to keep them together?" 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.

Katharina Obser, a senior policy adviser at the Women's Refugee Commission, said the order could result in expanded detention for immigrant families.

He did not immediately provide details of the bill, but said that it resolves the issue of so-called Dreamers, undocumented adult migrants who entered the U.S. as children, "in a very elegant way".

President Donald Trump displays an executive order on immigration policy after signing it in the Oval Office, June 20, 2018.

The White House doubled down on its insistence on congressional action on Monday with Trump and Homeland Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen ardently arguing that border security enforcement agents had no alternative to breaking up migrant families under the law.

A subsequent ruling in 2016 bars the government from keeping children in family detention centers for more than 20 days. Upon leaving that meeting, Sessions said he had been "working with the White House and others all morning" on the family separation issue.

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On Tuesday, the Department of Homeland Security said 2,342 children have been separated from their parents since last month.

Amid Trump's significant increase of deportation arrests and a harsh border crackdown, organizers warn that movements should not set a bar so low that they allow for the continued jailing of children.

Mrs. Trump issued a rare statement on Sunday saying that she "hates to see children separated from their families and hopes both sides of the aisle can finally come together to achieve successful immigration reform". "I didn't like the sight or the feeling of families being separated". Family detention has been condemned by the US government's own Commission on Civil Rights, as well as Satsuki Ina, a survivor of a Japanese-American internment camp, who compared the practice to her own experience. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said his department will start reuniting detained immigrant children with their parents - but he made no specific commitment on how quickly that can be accomplished. He also pointed out that some of the images of children being detained dated back to 2014, when Barack Obama was president, and claimed that the situation in 2014 "blew away what's happening now".

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte's bill, the Securing America's Future Act, provides a pathway to legal status for Dreamers while limiting legal immigration levels.

There's some doubt that the family separations will actually stop under the executive order.

"Right now we're focused on getting this bill passed", he said.

House leaders have been considering two competing bills.


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