President Trump Signs Order to Stop Family Separation Border Policy
On the afternoon of Wednesday, June 20th, U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order on immigration in the Oval Office of the White House. He, along with Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and Vice President Mike Pence have received extreme pressure from members of both major American parties. The signed order is meant to keep families together at the border, commenting on zero-tolerance policy he instituted earlier this year.
On this executive order, President Trump said it will “solve that problem” of children being separated from their parents. However, the zero-tolerance policy will not end. Everyone who attempts to cross the U.S.-Mexico border illegally will be charged, but Trump said he “didn’t like the sight of families being separated.”
Neither the President nor the White House have disclosed exactly what he signed. An administration official later confirmed that the executive order had been drafted by the departments of Justice and hHomeland Security as a means of temporarily halting the separation of detained children from their detained parents at the border. It appears that this executive order will allow families to be held in immigration detention together. The order is also set to move up hearings for families in detention, putting them at the head of the line to speed up processing. This is likely due to a federal court decree prohibiting the government from holding children for more than twenty days.
Reporting late last week and over the weekend showed photos and recordings of children separated from their parents, sparking nation-wide outrage. Every living First Lady, including current First Lady Melania Trump, has denounced the practice. Proliferation on social media has led to dozens of protests around the country; currently, nation-wide protests are being planned for Saturday, June 30th.
The House is set to vote on two immigration bills this week: a conservative bill authored by the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and a compromise immigration bill.