President Donald Trump signed an executive order a short time ago ending the immediate separation of migrant families who crossed the border illegally and entered the United States. Video of the signing is below.
The signing took place in the Oval Office at the White House, with the President saying he was glad the practice will end, but pledging that the stronger measures to secure the border will remain in place.
Under President Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy on border apprehensions, families taken into custody at the border were no longer subject to “catch and release,” which let undocumented families go free on the hopes they will show up to an immigration hearing. Now, they remain detained until the hearing, which means children were more often separated from their families.
The practice began under a law passed by Bill Clinton, and separation was common under the Obama administration. However, it did not gain notoriety until now.
“It’s about keeping families together while at the same time making sure that we have a very powerful, very strong border,” Trump said as he signed the measure.
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was also at the signing. Previously, she said that the separation of families originated from immigration law, and for the practice to change, Democrats would have to join with Republicans to pass a new law. She also criticized the media for misrepresenting the facts and not acknowledging that this has been an ongoing practice since the Obama administration.
The immediate separation of immigrant families at the U.S.-Mexico border has sparked outrage and protests in the United States and abroad.
Wednesday morning, Trump also laid the blame squarely on Democrats. “It’s the Democrats fault, they won’t give us the votes needed to pass good immigration legislation. They want open borders, which breeds horrible crime. Republicans want security. But I am working on something – it never ends,” he tweeted.
It’s the Democrats fault, they won’t give us the votes needed to pass good immigration legislation. They want open borders, which breeds horrible crime. Republicans want security. But I am working on something – it never ends!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 20, 2018
Here is video of the signing.
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