Obama calls for end to the 'cruelty' of family separations

Charlene Craig
June 23, 2018

President Donald Trump, under pressure from the media and political opponents, has signed an executive order that is meant to keep the children of parents who attempt to illegally enter the United States together at the border.

The executive order, he said, was "about keeping families together while at the same time being sure that we have a very powerful, very strong border, and border security will be equal if not greater than previously".

The government earlier in June said 1,995 minors had been separated from 1,940 adults who had crossed the U.S. -Mexico border, although some minors had crossed without their parents or adult kin.

Rep. Sheila Jackson lee, D-Texas, joined other Democrats blasting the Trump administration for its policy, later reversed by the president, of separating immigrant families at the border.

Watch the full story above. On Wednesday, a White House official said she "has been making her opinion known" to her husband that he needs to do all he can to keep migrant families together. "I said: "You know, it doesn't feel right to have a picnic for Congress when we're working on something so important".

Trump's executive order states the administration will "maintain family unity, including by detaining alien families together where appropriate and consistent with law and available resources. And he said that he does recognize that it needs to end, that the images are painful".

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Parents have since been arrested and placed in quick federal court proceedings near the border, while children are placed in shelters.

Mr Trump reversed his own policy amid worldwide fury over the separation of undocumented parents and children.

Rep. Debbie Lesko, R-Peoria, who was at the White House to discuss border regulation Wednesday, agreed that it is Congress' responsibility to "permanently fix our broken immigration system and prevent this from happening in the future". We'll make it another time when things are going extremely well.

Arizona Senator John McCain, a former Republican Presidential nominee, said in a tweet the policy was "an affront to the decency of the American people and contrary to principles and values upon which our nation was founded".

The children could not take the "expedited removal" route and their cases often took longer to resolve.

Detention centres: They are then supposed to be moved to one of around 100 detention centres run through the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), part of the Department of Health and Human Services.

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De Blasio told reporters the children at Harlem's Cayuga Center included a 9-year-old Honduran boy sent to the center 2,000 miles by bus after being detained at the border. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has set up a hotline for parents to call after they are released from custody.

Citing waves of immigration from around the world throughout American history, Obama added that "we're only here because this country welcomed them in, and taught them that to be an American is about something more than what we look like, how our last names sound, or the way we worship".

"The Flores settlement prohibits the indefinite detention of children - even with their families - and any order to undermine this critical protection will be immediately challenged in court", said senior Democratic Senator Dick Durbin.

The Trump administration is likely to become tangled in legal battles with immigration activists on behalf of detained migrants if it is unable to overturn the Flores agreement before the 20-day deadline.

"This is a stopgap measure", said Gene Hamilton, counsel to Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

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.

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Diego Costa was the star against Portugal with a brace, but Iran are likely to be rather more compact than the European champions. But the Persians kept their shape superbly, restricting Spain to a handful of chances from David Silva in the first half.

A top HHS official told Agence France-Presse on Tuesday they have no system in place to do so.

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