As the immigration debate heats up, the Trump administration has been blamed for the recent influx of family separations at the border.
But on Wednesday, President Donald Trump decided to set things straight and signed an executive action that halts family separations while crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.
“I didn’t like the sight or the feeling of families being separated,” said Trump while next to Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and Vice President Mike Pence. “I think anybody with a heart would feel strongly about it. We don’t like to see families separated.”
This week, images and videos have gone viral of children crying for their parents after being separated from their parents at the border.
Although Trump took swift action, he made it clear that he still has a strict stance when it comes to immigration.
“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,” said Trump. “We’re going to have strong, very strong borders, but we’re going to keep the families together,”
This doesn’t mean that adults won’t be prosecuted for crossing the border illegally.
The Trump administration has received tremendous backlash lately from Democrats about the family separation policy, which isn’t a new policy.
The only thing that changed when Trump took office is that more of these parents were actually being prosecuted for illegally crossing the border, instead of being let go with their families.
The children of the illegals were being sent to facilities run by the Department of Health and Human Services while the parents were detained for prosecution.
But under Obama, the ICE took a much more of a loose approach and the families were often given civil deportation proceedings, that doesn’t require separation.
“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!” tweeted Trump Wednesday.
“Nielsen and Justice Department officials went to the White House Wednesday morning to work with administration lawyers to draft the order. The action will direct the Department of Homeland Security to keep families together and will instruct the Department of Defense to help house the families because many of the detention centers are at capacity, according to a person familiar with the matter,” writes Politico.
This appears to be more of a temporary solution though. Nielsen has demanded a legislative solution to be implemented quickly.
“We’re still going to be pushing Congress to address this,” said a senior administration official to Politico. “That’s obvious and that’s not changing.”
“There was hope that one of the immigration bills in the House would move and solve the current issue but due to the urgency of the situation, it was determined an [executive] action was warranted,” said a White House official.
In an effort to get immigration legislation in place asap, Trump postponed the Thursday White House picnic.
“We want to see if we can solve it, so we’re canceling or postponing the congressional picnic tomorrow,” said Trump.
Author’s note: Trump said that he did not like the situation, and now he is changing it. Again it has always been the policy to separate children from parents when they commit a crime and go to jail. It happens thousands of times a year across the U.S. to legal citizens. In this case, the parents are committing a crime against the U.S. They are the ones putting their children in a dangerous situation in an attempt to illegally cross the border.