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House GOP Immigration Compromise Teeters Ahead Of Votes

House GOP Immigration Compromise Teeters Ahead Of Votes

House GOP Immigration Compromise Teeters Ahead Of Votes

Trump administration officials say they have no clear plan yet on how to reunite the thousands of children separated from their families at the border since the implementation of a zero-tolerance policy in which anyone caught entering the USA illegally is criminally prosecuted.

"So we're going to have strong, very strong borders, but we're going to keep the families together", Trump said as he signed the order in the Oval Office.

"No one wants to separate families and the president's action will ensure that those who are crossing our border illegally are detained and our laws are enforced", he said.

The Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy broke with that approach by separating families and sending adults to ICE jails while assigning migrant children to shelters run by the Department of Health and Human Services. None of them were accompanied by minors or family members.

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".

Under the order, entire immigrant families would be detained together by the Department of Homeland Security pending legal and court proceedings for the parents.

Gene Hamilton, counsellor to US Attorney General Jeff Sessions, told reporters the Justice Department will seek changes to a 1997 settlement known as the Flores agreement, which set nationwide policy for the detention of minors in the custody of immigration officials.

U.S. immigration officials say 2342 children were separated from 2206 parents between 5 May and 9 June. The Democratic leader in the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, believes Trump's order does nothing but "replace one form of child abuse with another ..."

So the executive order states that the Attorney General will "promptly" file a request with the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California to modify the settlement agreement in Flores v. Sessions.

In past administrations, most immigrant families were released while their immigration cases proceeded, and were not charged criminally for illegal entry if they didn't have prior criminal records.

"His goal was not to rip families apart, I think his goal was to make Congress act on immigration reform", Pappas added.

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If those options are exhausted, authorities must find the "least restrictive" setting for a child who arrived without parents.

Trump in a tweet earlier Thursday renewed his call to end the filibuster in the Senate, venting his frustration as his immigration agenda has hit a stalemate on Capitol Hill.

"This is a tragedy that children are being separated from their parents", he said.

The effort would mark a dramatic departure for an administration that has been insisting, wrongly, that it has no choice but to separate families apprehended at the border because of the law and a court decision.

"We want security for our country", Trump said.

Trump's said the order does not alter the "zero tolerance" policy itself that the administration put in place in April.

Because of the callousness and ineptness of the Trump Reich, it's highly likely many children will never be reunited with their parents.

The House of Representatives planned to vote on Thursday on two bills created to halt family separations and address a range of other immigration issues.

Sixty-five-year-old Richard Klabechek of Oak Grove, Minnesota, who attended the president's rally Wednesday evening in Duluth, Minnesota, said he was unmoved by the audio of crying children, saying it was "the media playing the heartstrings of the public".

What does this mean for children already separated?

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