Trump supporters steadfast despite the immigration uproar

Michael Candelori  ZUMA Wire

House members will vote on a bill that funds Trump's signature campaign promise of a border wall and provides a path to citizenship for individuals who were brought to the USA illegally as children by their parents, all happening under a retiring speaker who once vowed to conservatives he would not touch immigration as long as Barack Obama was President. That's what he did on Wednesday.

"I did not like the sight of families being separated", Trump said, but added his team would continue its "zero tolerance policy" for dealing with anyone who crosses the border into the United States of America illegally. As such, they would be held in federal facilities and separated from their children.

HHS Secretary Alex Azar told Fox News' "Special Report" that before families can be reunited, "we're going to have to see how the implementation of the executive order goes". In reality, the Trump administration chose to separate families by criminally prosecuting parents.

However, the Trump administration's zero tolerance policy of prosecuting all illegal border crossings has caused an increased number of these separations.

"It is still very early and we are awaiting further guidance on the matter", Brian Marriott, a spokesman at the Administration for Children and Families, a division of the Department and Health and Human Services, said in a statement late Wednesday.

Although Trump's crackdown is aimed at deterring irregular migration to the U.S., the North American country has witnessed has witnessed a surge since October, with many migrants fleeing violence and extreme poverty in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.

Asked about the possibility of an executive order on immigration, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters: "We'll keep you posted".

Under the order, entire immigrant families would be detained together by the Department of Homeland Security pending legal and court proceedings for the parents.

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"We want Walmart to immediately stop accepting payments for the purchase of this building and to invest $4.5 million (purchase cost) towards reuniting detained children with their parents", said Amy Ritter, communications director for Making Change at Walmart.

Trump and other administration officials, including Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, defended the policy up to the last minute, insisting that they enacted it in part because of a 2015 court order that cited a 1997 settlement known as the Flores agreement that says children can not be held in long-term detention, even with their parents. Rather than compromise to resolve the crisis, they want total victory - for Trump to delay all prosecutions of adult migrants for illegal entry until their asylum claims are settled, which can take months or even years. On Monday evening, she faced protesters at her home.

Trump also ordered the Justice Department to expedite the adjudication of cases involving families with children when possible. "This is a ploy by the White House to distract people from the real issue of whether we're detaining children at all".

But others pushed back on the idea that Homeland Security had led the rollback.

It's also unclear whether Trump's order will stand up to legal muster.

Nielsen pushed the president to find a way to de-escalate the situation, said two officials, who were not authorized to describe the discussions and requested anonymity.

The person said Trump called the Justice Department Wednesday morning asking for the draft order.

And children at the shelters were found to be "hysterical, crying and acting out". Other recent rulings, upheld on appeal, affirm the childrens rights to a bond hearing and require better conditions at the Border Patrols short-term holding facilities.

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