Trump's Executive Order On Family Separation: What It Does And Doesn't Do

Melania's last public appearance before her surgery was greeting U.S. detainees released from North Korea

Trump announced his decision Wednesday during a meeting at the White House with lawmakers as global condemnation of the family separation policy intensified and the backlash in Congress grew.

The 2016 ruling made it "much more hard for the federal government to use the detention authorities Congress gave it", DHS said.

That means without further action from Congress or the courts, the Trump administration could be forced to again separate the immigrant children from their parents in three weeks.

President Trump, with DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, left, and Vice President Pence, right, prepares to sign an executive order ending the practice of separating migrant families.

Trump, speaking to reporters at the White House, said he hoped his measure would be matched with legislation in the U.S. Congress.

"A person's dignity does not depend on them being a citizen, a migrant or a refugee", Pope Francis, a staunch supporter of migrant rights, said in a tweet.

While Ryan says he is "hopeful" the votes will pass, the reality is that House Republicans still have a lot of work ahead to build sufficient support to send the bill to the Senate without any Democratic support.

In past administrations, most immigrant families were released while their immigration cases proceeded, and were not charged criminally for illegal entry if they didn't have prior criminal records.

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In the meeting late Tuesday, Mr. Trump stopped short of telling House Republicans that he would immediately reverse his policy. The news in recent days has been dominated by searing images of children held in cages at border facilities, as well as audio recordings of young children crying for their parents.

Under previous United States administrations, immigrants caught crossing the border for the first time tended to be issued with court summonses and released. The order would ask the Department of Defense to help house the detained families. "When we have an announcement to make, we'll make it". They want open borders, which breeds terrible crime. "It's very important. I'll be signing something in a little while that's going to do that and the people in this room want to do that and they're working on various pieces of legislation to get it done".

The president says his administration is trying to balance rigorous enforcement of US immigration laws and pursue its policy of maintaining family unity.

But the reversal, which could face a legal battle, likely won't apply to the more than 2,300 children who have already been separated from their parents, the Department of Health and Human Services said. The order does not end a "zero tolerance" policy that calls for criminal prosecution of immigrants crossing the border illegally.

"This policy is relatively new", Steven Wagner at the Department of Health and Human Services told the Associated Press. The settlement of a class-action lawsuit set policies for the treatment and release of unaccompanied children who are caught at the border.

In 2016, the Flores agreement was amended to say that minors can not be detained in an unlicensed facility for longer than 20 days and must be either released or transferred to a licensed facility. Under a decades-old court settlement, criminal detention centers-or jails-can't be used to hold children. Family detention has been condemned by the USA government's own Commission on Civil Rights, as well as Satsuki Ina, a survivor of a Japanese-American internment camp, who compared the practice to her own experience.

The executive order says the government will prosecute everyone who crosses the border illegally. Neither, though, did it require parents to be kept in detention, apart from their children.

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