Monday, 23 July, 2018

Trump's Executive Order On Family Separation: What It Does And Doesn't Do

‘I Don’t Know’: Homeland Security Chief Kirstjen Nielsen Is Asked Where Are The Girls? Trump to ‘sign something’ on immigrant family separations
Kenny Thornton | 21 June, 2018, 07:53

President Trump abruptly reversed course Wednesday, saying he would sign an executive order ending family separations at the U.S. -Mexico border after a public uproar over the impact of his administration's "zero tolerance" immigration policy.

The White House may run into legal difficulties if the executive order requires families to be held intact together indefinitely since a federal consent decree known as the Flores settlement says children must be released after 20 days.

US lawmakers will vote Thursday on a bill that would end the controversial practice of separating migrant children from parents caught entering the country without papers, House Speaker Paul Ryan said Wednesday.

"What we have done today is we are keeping families together", Trump said as he signed the executive order. In recent days, the Republican president had insisted his hands were tied by law on the issue of family separations and had sought to blame Democrats, although it was his administration that implemented the policy of strict adherence to immigration law.

Because the Justice Department can't prosecute children along with their parents, the result of the zero-tolerance policy has been a sharp rise in the number of children detained separately.

Simply putting children with their parents does not end the question of the constitutionality of their and their family's detention for an indefinite period of time.

In the House, GOP leaders scrambled Tuesday to produce a revised version of the broader immigration bill that would keep children in detention longer than now permitted - but with their parents.

Several hundred protesters, chanting "Keep families together!" marched in New York City.

May said she she "unequivocally" believed what the United States administration was doing on its border was "wrong". It is also expected to include a provision to prevent the government from separating young children from parents and guardians while in government custody.

He said he was looking into whether the court could block deportation of parents until they have been reunited with their children, and whether it could force the Trump administration to reunite those separated.

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The policy of separating children from their parents who have illegally entered the USA and been detained had existed for years before President Donald Trump took office.

Signing an executive order to reverse his own administration's practice would also be unnecessary since nearly everyone in Washington, apart from the President, agrees that he already has the power to end the separations any time he wants.

The president directed Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen to maintain custody of detained families during criminal proceedings and as their asylum claims are adjudicated.

Representative Mark Meadows said Mr Trump told Republican members of the House at a meeting on Capitol Hill that they needed to get something done on immigration "right away", Reuters reported.

As a preliminary matter, Trump's "solution" is not going to work unless the process for determining the children's parents' status is sped up. Ryan has stated he does not support separation of families. "Or, prosecute them and then under court cases and the law, they have to be separated from their children". Upon leaving that meeting, Sessions said he had been "working with the White House and others all morning" on the family separation issue.

Ms Nielsen is understood to be going to the White House to discuss the border problems with Mr Trump's team.

As NBC News points out, the order does not include any plans on how the government will reunite children now separated from their families.

And with the House now poised to hold a Thursday vote on the hard-core Goodlatte immigration measure that the farm bill was held hostage to in May, at least one major obstacle to the Big Ag reauthorization has been removed.

Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., a member of the House Freedom Caucus, says he doesn't like compromise bill "because it's all compromising in one direction".

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