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Trump immigration order may not prevent some family separations
23 June 2018, 01:09 | Tara Lloyd
Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen speaks at a news briefing at the White House on Monday
In the meantime, as many commentators have noted, the move is not likely to quell criticism of Trump's immigration policies or defuse much of the chaos taking place at the border.
Heart-rending images and sounds of wailing children separated from their guardians have led to a firestorm of opposition to the Trump administration's crackdown on illegal immigration.
"The President doesn't get any brownie points for moving from a policy of locking up kids and families separately to locking them up together". The order also did not provide any date or timeline on when it would be implemented and does not address how the more than 2,000 children already stripped from their families would be reunited. Mr Trump reversed his own policy amid worldwide fury over the separation of undocumented parents and children.
Global organizations, human rights groups, and several countries have condemned the practice of family separations.
United chief executive Oscar Munoz said: "We want no part of it".
White House spokesman Raj Shah said Ivanka Trump had phoned lawmakers on Capitol Hill to echo the president's call to pass legislation to solve the issue completely.
Governments from Central America and Mexico welcomed Trump's decision on Wednesday, but said they would remain vigilant to ensure the rights of their citizens were respected.
Top Democratic leader Congressman Joe Crowley said while this order stops the separation of children from their parents, it does not end the administration's despicable policy of unreasonably detaining asylum seekers and families fleeing violence. "We have to act and I hope we can pass that law", he said. They asserted that a price would be paid in the midterm elections, as evidenced by the numerous Republican lawmakers who also urged the administration to change its policy.
In her letter, Lee said, "I am appalled by the reports and images from detention facilities in Texas and other states along the border, where more than 2,300 children have been separated from their parents by border patrol agents".
Last month, the Trump administration enacted its "zero tolerance" policy, under which almost everyone crossing the border without authorization is charged with a federal misdemeanor. Neither, though, did it require parents to be kept in detention, apart from their children. Perhaps more importantly, 70 percent of women disapprove, according to a Quinnipiac University poll taken June 14-17. Six American airlines have told the Trump administration not to use their aircraft to transport child migrants who have been separated from their parents. And officials said the cases of the children already separated and turned over to their custody would proceed as usual.
The issue struck an emotional chord, with accounts of children screaming and crying in facilities prepared for them.
A federal appeals court has interpreted the Flores agreement to allow immigration officials to detain families for only 20 days. The order also calls for the justice department to request to modify the Flores agreement to allow children to be held longer, but it is unclear what will happen if the law does not change. The decision did not state parents must be released.
"I think some members sense there's growing support for the second bill and they're starting to get very anxious about it", he told reporters, noting the support from Attorney General Sessions and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, both of whom met with Republicans Wednesday to talk about the legislation.
He said he was looking into whether the court could block deportations of parents until they have been reunited with their children, and whether it could force the Trump administration to reunite those separated.
Then they'll go home and tell their constituents the immigration system is a mess and we absolutely have to do something about it.
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