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Trump says will sign something 'pre-emptive' on immigration border policy

22 June 2018

The bill offers a potential pathway to citizenship to many young immigrants who arrived in the United States illegally as children but also provides money for Trump's proposed border wall with Mexico.

The Trump administration earlier this year began enforcing a policy that separated members of families that cross U.S. borders illegally.

"Family unity will be maintained for families apprehended crossing the border illegally, and they will be transferred together to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement", the spokesman said in a statement.

"The administration's idea of a solution to a problem it caused is to keep children jailed indefinitely alongside their parents", Rep. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., told Trump he could change the situation with the stroke of a pen.

Republicans had planned to take two immigration votes on Thursday, even though both were unlikely to pass and even less likely to be considered in the Senate. It is immoral to lock up children for an undetermined amount of time while families wait through a drawn-out legal process.

Trump's decision to sign an executive order to end the separation of children from their parents at the border comes after his administration began enforcing a new zero tolerance policy that calls for prosecuting all adults who crosses the border illegally.

"You can't (end the separation of families at the border) through an executive order".

At a White House cabinet meeting, he pledged to sign an immigration reform bill if Congress can pass it. The order also leaves the door open for families to be separated after 20 days.

Facing worldwide outcry over the separation policy, Trump had signed an executive order on Wednesday to stop the separations and keep families together during immigration proceedings.

Republicans hold a narrower majority in the upper chamber, leading Mr Trump question on Thursday "what is the purpose" of the House voting on "good immigration bills", if they will be struck down by the Senate.

"What is the goal of the House doing good immigration bills when you need 9 votes by Democrats in the Senate, and the Dems are only looking to Obstruct".

While the exact whip count on the compromise bill is unclear, it is possible more Republicans would oppose it than the 41 GOP members who voted against a conservative measure by Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte.

Trump's opponents, however, were not satisfied with the executive order, asserting that this was not enough.

It also suggests the government intends to hold the families indefinitely by challenging an existing statute, the 1997 Flores Settlement, that places a 20-day limit on how long children, along or with their parents, can be detained.

Indeed, the Department of Health and Human Services has not developed a plan yet to reunite these families, according to the Associated Press.

He could not say what happens to all the children already separated from parents. "It is still very early and we are awaiting further guidance on the matter".

Leon Fresco, a deputy assistant attorney general under President Barack Obama, who defended that administration's use of family detention, said the administration must decide in what order they're going to implement the terms of the executive order. The Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Center said the order didn't go almost far enough. "There's only one way that this bill goes down, and that's if the Freedom Caucus votes against the measures that they put into the bill".

"But when they opened the door, we saw around 20 to 30 10-year-old boys in one of these chain-link enclosures, and they were crying and screaming and asking for their mothers".

He said there is nothing wrong with the administration seeking to modify the Flores settlement, but expects it will fail. "We reject this false choice".

Trump says will sign something 'pre-emptive' on immigration border policy