Trump changes course, stops family separation at the border


The president says his administration is trying to balance rigorous enforcement of US immigration laws and pursue its policy of maintaining family unity.

In an early Thursday tweet, Trump expressed skepticism that any House immigration bill could get the necessary votes, blaming Democrats. "No matter how you cut it, it leads to separation ultimately".

Trump's order said the government would maintain a "zero tolerance" policy toward those who break the law, but a senior US official, when asked to explain how the federal government would change enforcement practices, told The Washington Post that Border Patrol agents have been instructed to stop sending parents with children to federal courthouses for prosecution. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., told Trump he could change the situation with the stroke of a pen.

"She wanted to see everything for herself".

He called the measure "somewhat preemptive" but called on Congress to work towards a more permanent fix on the issue, saying that perhaps a more comprehensive immigration reform bill- one that may tackle the family separation issue, while also addressing security concerns, etc. - may be possible.

"The executive order certainly is helping pave the way a little bit, but there's still a lot to be done", Grisham acknowledged.

In an eleventh-hour effort to round up votes, Ryan took two dozen wavering lawmakers to the White House Wednesday so Trump could cajole them into supporting the bill.

Democrats oppose both measures as harsh.

"We will be going through Congress".

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In the unlikely event that the House approves the legislation, it seemed certain to go nowhere in the GOP-run Senate, where Democrats have enough votes to use a filibuster - procedural delays - to kill it. That came after the Washington Post cited an unnamed official as saying that prosecutions of parents who cross into the USA illegally would be suspended until Immigration and Customs Enforcement could "accelerate resource capacity to allow us to maintain custody".

The Trump administration, meanwhile, has asked the Defense Department to provide space at military facilities by the end of the year to house 20,000 children who have arrived in the US without any adults.

"We want to solve this immigration problem", Mr. Trump said.

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said his department will start reuniting detained immigrant children with their parents - but he made no specific commitment on how quickly that can be accomplished.

In the Oval Office, Trump said he had also heard from his daughter and aide, Ivanka Trump, about the policy. "I'm reviewing the President's Executive Order, but I'm glad we appear to be moving toward a policy that keeps children with their parents". The judge previously rejected an Obama administration request to modify the consent decree in light of a surge of immigrants from Central America.

"The Border has been a big mess and problem for many years".

Almost all of the families, and many others, have officially requested asylum, citing the incessant violence in their home countries.

Immigrant children now housed in a tent encampment under the new "zero tolerance" policy by the Trump administration are shown walking in single file at the facility near the Mexican border in Tornillo, Texas, US June 19, 2018.

House Republicans on Thursday failed to pass a conservative immigration bill that would have offered only temporary protection to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program recipients while also making drastic cuts to legal immigration.