Trump immigration order may not prevent some family separations

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Frustrated that even his political allies were questioning his heart, President Donald Trump determined early Wednesday he would break with days of his own misleading claims and end the practice of separating families at the border.

A court order said that the families can not be kept in custody by the Department of Homeland Security for more than 20 days.

President Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday ending his administration's policy of separating migrant children from their parents who were detained as they attempted to enter the USA illegally.

The Texas Civil Rights Project - another Texas immigration charity - said "the zero-tolerance policy is the problem causing the separation" and demanded that it end.

Trump's "zero tolerance" policy refers all apprehended undocumented adults for criminal prosecution - a break with past administrations that limited criminal referral for most adults who illegally crossed into the USA with their juvenile family members. They also raised a series of new questions for the Trump administration, including whether White House policy director Stephen Miller, who helped design the family-separation policy, would be disciplined.

Before his U-turn on Wednesday the president had previously said "you can't do it through an executive order", insisting that only Congress could fix the policy by passing immigration reform. That's just what he did.

Parents crossing the border illegally with children were earlier referred to immigration courts, rather than being detained.

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In a conference call with reporters, liberal activists promised to begin running ads in key House races that would highlight audio recordings of crying immigrant children being mocked by immigration officials. "This is a stopgap measure", said Gene Hamilton, counsel to Attorney General Jeff Sessions. It's unclear what happens if no changes to law or the settlement take place by the time families reach the detainment deadline.

And it didn't do much for the teeming outrage over the issue. Instead of giving initial approval for $24.8 billion spread over the next five years, the legislation said it would open the door to $24.8 billion "for each" of the next five years.

"The administration still plans to criminalize families - including children - by holding them in prison-like detention facilities". The president, he said, was in an "unsustainable position and would like to be bailed out of it without having to admit fault".

Will the separated children be reunited? .

Kenneth Wolfe, a spokesman for the Administration for Children and Families, told the New York Times, "There will not be a grandfathering of existing cases". Senators anxious Trump's fix would not stand up in court and were eager to go on record in opposition to the practice of separating families.

"We're going to have very strong borders, but we're going to keep families together", he said.

Trump's decision came as Republicans in the House had hoped they were on the verge of bridging internal divisions to pass a wide-ranging election-year immigration bill to provide deportation protections for so-called Dreamers and funding for Trump's border wall. Assessments for possible detention facilities at military bases have already been done in Texas and another is expected in Arkansas on Thursday.

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But now, with the executive order, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will take custody of the entire family. Those people were not authorized to speak publicly and commented only on condition of anonymity.

A sweeping House GOP immigration overhaul teetered on the brink of collapse Thursday as lawmakers struggled to move past an issue that has become politically fraught amid the dire images of families being separated at the border. On Monday evening, she faced protesters at her home.

"You will have a lot of happy people", Trump said as he signed the executive order. They want open borders, which breeds awful crime. "Republicans want security. But I am working on something - it never ends!"

On a practical level, the zero tolerance policy has overwhelmed the federal agency charged with caring for the new influx of children who tend to be much younger than teens who typically have been traveling to the USA alone.

When the crisis of family separations erupted at the border, GOP leaders revised the compromise bill to bolster a provision requiring parents and children to be held together in custody. If those options are exhausted, authorities must find the "least restrictive" setting for a child who arrived without parents.

Now he says Trump appears to be getting what he wants.

The U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement is responsible for placing thousands of teenage migrants apprehended at the border after they showed up at the crossing unaccompanied by a parent or adult.

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