US President Donald Trump signs executive order to end separation of immigrant families

FPJ BureauUpdated: Wednesday, May 29, 2019, 08:25 AM IST
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(Representative Image) Win McNamee/Getty Images/AFP |

Washington: President Donald Trump today signed an executive order to end separation of immigrant families on the US-Mexico border, after images of children in cages sparked global outrage.

Trump signed the executive order following widespread protests against the move of his administration to separate children from their parents who illegally enter the country. In recent weeks, more than 2,500 such children were separated from their parents. “We’re keeping families together, and this will solve that problem. At the same time, we are keeping a very powerful border and it continues to be a zero-tolerance. We have zero tolerance for people that enter our country illegally,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office of the White House as he signed the executive order.

The executive order, signed by Trump, asks the Department of Homeland Security to keep families together while people await trial for illegal border crossing. But cases where there is a concern that parents “would pose a risk to the child’s welfare” have been exempted from the executive order. Trump said the executive order is about keeping families together while at the same time making sure that they have a very powerful and strong border. “And border security will be equal, if not greater than previously. We are going to have very strong borders, but we’re going to keep the families together,” he said.

Trump said he didn’t like the sight or the feeling of families being separated. “It’s a problem that’s gone on for many years, as you know, through many administrations. We are working very hard on immigration. It’s been left out in the cold. People haven’t dealt with it, and we are dealing with it,” he said. Trump’s opponents, however, were not satisfied with the executive order, asserting that this was not enough.

“The President’s Executive Order seeks to replace one form of child abuse with another. Instead of protecting traumatised children, the President has directed his Attorney General to pave the way for the long-term incarceration of families in prison-like conditions,” said Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi. “It is particularly galling that President Trump seeks to continue violating children’s human rights to justify and gin up support for the anti-family language included in Speaker Ryan’s anti-immigrant bill,” she said.

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