US President Donald Trump agreed to sign an executive order on Wednesday ending the separation of migrant children from their parents at the border with Mexico, after claiming for days that he did not have the authority to do so.
He could not say what happens to all the children already separated from parents.
And if you're strong, then you don't have any heart.
Trump said he didn't like the sight or the feeling of families being separated.
The executive order, signed by Trump, asks the Department of Homeland Security to keep families together while people await trial for illegal border crossing. He had called on Democratic lawmakers to stop the family separations, even though his fellow Republicans control both chambers in Congress and his own administration implemented the current policy.
What court orders is he talking about?
"It may be easier to overturn the Flores Settlement than get Congress to pass something", said Mark Krikorian, director of the Center for Immigration Studies, a Washington think tank whose restrictionist views on immigration policy have won broad influence in the White House.
The government then had a choice of separating the children from their parents or releasing families into the USA while they awaited their court date. The settlement was later modified to say that children should not be held longer than 20 days.
By reversing the family separation policy but continuing to aggressively prosecute adult undocumented immigrants ― while detaining their children alongside them ― the Trump administration could be setting itself up for a legal battle with human rights activists over the Flores agreement.
It also allows the Department of Homeland Security to separate children from parents if they believe the child may be in danger.
"What started out as a hope to help one person get reunited with their family has turned into a movement that will help countless people", the couple said in a statement released by a spokeswoman Wednesday. It also calls for prioritising immigration cases involving detained families.
The president said the Justice Department is now drafting an order to undo separation of migrant families.
"We will be going through Congress".
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On Wednesday, President Trump did something no politician likes to do: He at least tacitly admitted he was wrong and made a dramatic retreat. But as The Washington Post reports, few people are predicting either House measure will pass.
It also moves parents with children to the front of the line for immigration proceedings.
That led to confusion and difficulty for parents as they tried to reunite with their children, who in some cases were sent across the country.
"We're still working through the experience of reunifying kids with their parents after adjudication", said Steven Wagner, an acting assistant secretary at the Department of Health and Human Services. "Our focus is on continuing to provide quality services and care to the minors in HHS/ORR funded facilities and reunifying minors with a relative or appropriate sponsor as we have done since HHS inherited the program".
The centre is operated under a federal contract that places unaccompanied migrant children in short-term foster care.
In theory, the intent of the executive order is to keep children who have crossed the border with their parents while in custody. That's more and more likely now that Trump's immigration hound dogs have more access to information about those seeking to sponsor a child in USA custody.
What's the reaction to the executive order?
The department has set up new facilities to manage the influx of children, and Wagner said they were prepared to expand as more children come into custody.
Depending on the availability of space, his order does not indicate whether children will continue to remain separated from their parents while additional facilities are being built.
Some on the right are equally dismayed.
Hours later, ACF spokesman Brian Marriott told reporters: "An ACF spokesperson misspoke earlier regarding the Executive Order signed today by the President".
"We want to solve this immigration problem", Mr. Trump said. "Families will not be detained in residential centers". Last month, the president spelled his wife Melania's name as "Melanie".