Trump Says He Will Sign 'Pre-Emptive' Order To End Family Separations

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The Trump administration is detaining immigrant children in 17 states, including more than 2,000 taken from their parents after they crossed the US border illegally, officials said Tuesday as the president's family-separation policy came under intensifying criticism.

But the EO itself once again blames Congress for the administration policy: "It is unfortunate that Congress's failure to act and court orders have put the Administration in the position of separating alien families to effectively enforce the law".

It also moves parents with children to the front of the line for immigration proceedings, although it does not end the "zero tolerance" policy that calls for criminal prosecution of immigrants crossing the border illegally.

"The question is is Congress going to step up and deal with this unfortunate by product where families are separated as a result of court decisions, consent decrees and other laws that are within our power to correct", Cornyn told reporters Monday night.

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, the president and others had said that the only way to end the practice was for Congress to pass new legislation. That's just what he did. "And border security will be equal if not greater than previously". A senior Justice Department official said that hasn't changed. Sessions and Trump hope that the policy will discourage prospective undocumented immigrants.

"This has caused an outcry throughout the country", said Senator Chris Van Hollen, who visited a detention facility in McAllen, Texas over the weekend where some 1,500 children are being held. The chorus of condemnation includes Democrats, as well as Republicans, who are increasingly anxious that reports about bereft children taken from their parents could damage the GOP's chances in November. Given the issue has become a flashpoint for outrage across both Capitol Hill and the country, that's a problem.

Hickenlooper said it is "deeply troubling that the U.S. Government would participate in such inhumane actions".

"The administration still plans to criminalize families - including children - by holding them in prison-like detention facilities". Shah walked back the president's statement hours later. Expanded facilities could be key, as migrant children separated from their parents are now housed by a different department, Health and Human Services.

Also playing a role in the president's turnaround: First lady Melania Trump.

House Republicans are trying desperately to wrangle the votes on a broader bill, which would overhaul the immigration system that includes a path to address the family separations. The House is slated to vote on a pair of rival immigration bills Thursday, but neither appears to have enough support to pass, Gainer reported.

Assessments for possible detainee use have been done at three bases in Texas: Dyess Air Force Base, Goodfellow Air Force Base and Fort Bliss.

"I think from my standpoint, we need to keep working on it", said Rep. Scott Perry, a conservative from Pennsylvania. Those people were not authorized to speak publicly and commented only on condition of anonymity.

The order does not make clear what the White House is going to do about the families who have already been separated at the southern border.

On Tuesday evening, protesters heckled USA homeland security chief Kirstjen Nielsen as she dined at a Mexican restaurant in Washington. "Republicans want security. But I am working on something - it never ends!" he wrote.

Before Wednesday, the zero-tolerance policy required adults to be sent to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service, while children were sent to centers run by the Department of Health and Human Services.

As of mid-June, that "zero-tolerance" approach to illegal migrants, a lot of them seeking asylum from violent conditions in their home countries, has resulted in about 2,000 infants and children placed in custody of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for a six-week period while their parents face criminal charges.

Ryan told reporters he prefers to see parents and children detained together in custody, as the GOP bills provide. Instead, the children could be detained indefinitely with their parents.