USA president promises order to end family separations

US President Donald Trump says "we are keeping families together" after outrage in the US and overseas over the separation of 2,300 minors from their families since May 5.

Cruz's bill would double the number of federal immigration judges, authorize new temporary shelters to house migrant families and limit the processing of asylum cases to no more than 14 days - a goal immigrant advocates say would be hard to meet.

Before departing for Minnesota, Trump signed an executive order to keep families together at the border.

"Some of the children are infants as young as three months of age and are completely unable to advocate for themselves", Arbulu continued.

"I was just walking over to the Oval Office and I said, 'You know, it doesn't feel right to have a picnic for Congress when we're working on - doing something very important, '" Trump said. Under the Obama administration, such families were usually referred for civil deportation proceedings, not requiring separation.

President Donald Trump is preparing to sign an executive order that would end the separation of families at the border, a source familiar with White House plans told the New York Times on Wednesday (June 20).

For days, Trump and his top administration officials were unwilling to unilaterally reverse the separation policy and insisted that congressional action was required.

He would be taking "pre-emptive" action as the White House and lawmakers scramble to deal with fallout over the adminstration's "zero-tolerance" policy.

In the past, families with children caught after crossing the border illegally were allowed to stay together while their immigration cases played out in court.

One of the people said Nielsen, who had become the face of the administration's policy, had little faith that Congress would act to fix the separation issue and felt compelled to act.

But others pushed back on the idea that Homeland Security had led the rollback. One official said it was the Justice Department that generated the legal strategy that is codified in the executive order, and disputed the notion that Homeland Security was involved in drawing up the document.

Rep. Kristi Noem, R-S.D., said Trump told lawmakers he "would continue to support the legislation, and that people shouldn't be anxious that he would change his mind". It said HHS personnel or contractors for HHS "will provide all care for the children", including supervision, meals, clothing, medical services, transportation and other daily needs.

Meanwhile, any children entering the country with them, including infants, would be taken away and held separately.

Mr Trump also said separating families was "certainly not an attractive thing and does look bad", added Representative Tom Cole. If those options are exhausted, authorities must find the "least restrictive" setting for the child who arrived without parents. Expanded facilities could be key, as migrant children separated from their parents are now housed by a different department, Health and Human Services.

After children are released to a parent or relative, guardians must make sure the kids attend immigration court hearings and check in regularly with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

  • Jon Douglas