Trump reverses family separation policy after backlash

Tanya Cunningham
June 21, 2018

"So we're talking about children in some cases who literately can't even communicate, have no idea what's happening to them, no ability to be in touch with their families", he said.

The second-ranking Senate Republican, John Cornyn of Texas, said they're proposing a "humane, safe and secure family facility" where parents and minor children could be detained together. His executive order ending "family separation" is unlikely to withstand legal scrutiny. The policy for adults who arrive with minors after an illegal border crossing was, and continues to be, that children can be taken from adults under three conditions: if immigration officials believe the child to be in danger, if they believe the adult is not the child's parent or guardian and/or if they arrest the adults.

President Trump said on Tuesday that his administration has no choice but to separate children from parents who cross the USA border illegally - before essentially admitting it does.

"There will not be a grandfathering of existing cases", Kenneth Wolfe, spokesman for the Administration for Children and Families, part of HHS, told The Times.

Trump also continued his effort to blame Democrats for failing to compromise with Republicans on legislation carving out a middle ground. Meadows announced the proposal at an informal press conference at the White House on Tuesday following a meeting with Trump.

"They can't win on their policies, which are disgusting", he said.

At an earlier event Tuesday, Trump said he was asking Congress for "the legal authority to detain and promptly remove families together as a unit".

To say that we're disappointed in that response is putting it mildly. "This is the only solution to the border crisis". The images have caused anger toward the practice and pressure on the Trump administration to change its policy. "The voices most loudly criticizing the enforcement of our current laws are those whose policies created this crisis and whose policies perpetuate it", she added.

The pictures that have emerged in recent days of young children fenced into makeshift holding facilities that resemble cages have been shocking.

Over the last several days, several Republican luminaries, including former First Lady Laura Bush and GOP governors have vociferously decried the practice.

World leaders, senior Democrats and Republicans, the United Nations and religious leaders have all spoken out against the damaging policy.


Trump told the lawmakers in a closed-door Capitol Hill meeting that he wanted to "congratulate Mark on a great race", according to two attendees.

New poll numbers suggested Republicans need to act swiftly to protect their vulnerable members in blue or swing districts and states.

We are also left with question as to whether the "zero tolerance" policy is constitutional as it is being implemented and whether the administration is equipped to care - at huge taxpayer expense - for those who came here desperate to escape from their home countries.

Senate Democrats have rallied behind a bill from Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.), have pounced on the issue.

Akemi Vargas, 8, cries as she talks about being separated from her father during an immigration family separation protest in front of the Sandra Day O'Connor U.S. District Court building in Phoenix.

Without Democratic support, Republicans can not muster the 60 votes needed to move forward on legislation.

One White House official said Mrs. Trump had been making her opinion known to the president for some time that she felt he needed to do all he could to help families stay together, whether by working with Congress or acting on his own.

The House Republicans so far have not signaled whether they will back a standalone bill to address the family-separation issue.

"This is a bill the President supports", said the California Republican who'd like to replace Ryan when he retires.

House Republican Mario Diaz-Balart said the priority of ending the separations has been slotted into a compromise bill now under consideration and favored by GOP moderates.

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