Backlash intensifies against United States migrant family separations

Immigration bill

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.

"The Trump Administration must reverse its policy of prosecuting vulnerable people fleeing three of the most risky countries on earth, who are attempting to seek safe haven in America".

For days, Trump and his top administration officials were unwilling to unilaterally reverse the separation policy, insisting that congressional action was required.

Trump said the executive order is about keeping families together while at the same time making sure that they have a very powerful and strong border.

Just hours after doubling down on his administration's much-derided policy that triggers separations of migrant children from their parents, Trump braved frustrated and in some cases angry fellow Republicans to assure he wanted their swift resolution to the crisis.

In this photo provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, people who've been taken into custody related to cases of illegal entry into the United States, sit in one of the cages at a facility in McAllen, Texas, Sunday, June 17, 2018.

The action, according to people familiar with it, wouldn't end the zero tolerance policy, but would aim to keep families together while they are in custody and ask the Department of Defense to help house the detained families.

Widespread condemnation of US President Trump has greeted the recent flood of pictures and audio evidence of forcibly abandoned children crying for their parents. The Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Center said the order didn't go almost far enough.

Trump signed the executive order following widespread protests against the move of his administration to separate children from their parents who illegally enter the country.

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"It's not normal to cry in the second game of a World Cup ", Brazil's biggest newspaper, O Globo, said. Brazil only managed a 1-1 tie against Switzerland in the country's first game of the 2018 tournament.

On Tuesday, the Department of Homeland Security said 2,342 children have been separated from their parents since last month. "I didn't like the sight or the feeling of families being separated".

"It is particularly galling that President Trump seeks to continue violating children's human rights to justify and gin up support for the anti-family language included in Speaker Ryan's anti-immigrant bill", she said. Under the Obama administration, such families were usually referred for civil deportation proceedings, not requiring separation. Melania Trump has had several private conversations with her husband, pushing him to do all he can to keep families at the border intact, whether via a legislative route, or acting alone to stop the process, the official said.

Trump had tweeted earlier Wednesday that he was "working on something", once again blaming Democrats for refusing to support Republican legislation created to keep families detained together after they're arrested at the border.

"I have no doubt Trump and Denham's lack of leadership on immigration spell deuces for Republicans in the midterm elections, especially in a district like ours, with over 40% registered Latino voters", Harder said. The official did not know what prompted Trump to change course. "Instead of protecting traumatised children, the President has directed his Attorney General to pave the way for the long-term incarceration of families in prison-like conditions", said Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi.

"The system has been broken for many years, the immigration system, it has been a really bad, bad system". It also doesn't change anything yet for the some 2,300 children taken from their families since the policy was put into place. This has sparked anger over the appearance that his administration is effectively holding children hostage for political concessions.

"I'd rather wait a day and pass it than rush it and not pass it", said Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y., who supports the Ryan measure.

Trump told Republicans during a closed-door meeting Tuesday night that he would support them "1,000 percent" on immigration but did not specifically back either bill.

Cruz's bill would double the number of federal immigration judges, authorize new temporary shelters to house migrant families and limit the processing of asylum cases to no more than 14 days - a goal immigrant advocates say would be hard to meet.

Parents who are found to have crossed the border illegally with their children are arrested, but because the children themselves have not committed a crime, they are not allowed to stay with the parents.

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