Homeland Security drafts plan to end family separation

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He said, "We are keeping families together".

"We're going to keep families together but we still have to maintain toughness or our country will be overrun by people, by crime, by all of the things that we don't stand for and that we don't want".

- Congressional leaders in both the Senate and the House have spent days trying to find a bill that would end family separations at the border, but as of Wednesday morning, it's not clear if any option has the votes to pass.

The secretary of defense is being directed to provide facilities for the housing and care of families, and the other departments shall provide services as well. One official said it was the Justice Department that generated the legal strategy that is codified in the working executive order, and disputed the notion that Homeland Security was involved in drawing up the document. In the meantime, he said, this is not a matter for the Pentagon to comment on.

Trump said his immigration policy "continues to be zero tolerance".

"So we're going to have strong, very strong borders, but we're going to keep the families together", the president said. The administration still has no real plans to address that financial and logistical problem before locking up immigrants, including asylum seekers.

US Chamber of Commerce CEO Thomas Donohue said: "Thousands of children are being forcibly removed from their parents by our government. this is not who we are and it must stop now".

The Trump administration has offered inconsistent justifications for the separation policy, but on Wednesday signaled the president might sign an executive order to help keep migrant families together.

Another MSNBC contributor, Washington Post White House reporter Ashley Parker, wondered if GOP leaders should have been surprised by Trump's actions.

The Trump administration has come under attack by religious leaders, Democrats and Republicans as reports surfaced that more than 2,000 children have been separated from their families since the Department of Homeland Security initiated a "zero tolerance" policy.

Then Trump took the floor and talked - about trade (He told Republicans to relax - he knew what he was doing, sources inside the room said). "The administration's current family separation policy is an affront to the decency of the American people, and contrary to principles and values upon which our nation was founded". Instead, the children could be detained with their parents for extended periods.

"Families should not be separated", the radio ad says.

Tyler Houlton, a DHS spokesman, called the airlines' decision "unfortunate". He's now headed to the border town of Tornillo, Texas where he will meet other mayors from across the country on Thursday to attempt to gain access to the detention center at an entry-point there.

"We're going to have work to do" to get the compromise across the finish line, said number three House Republican Steve Scalise.

In the Senate, meanwhile, Republicans are rallying behind narrow legislation that would allow detained families to stay together while expediting their deportation proceedings. McConnell says he is reaching out to Democrats for bipartisan backing.

On Tuesday evening, protesters heckled U.S. homeland security chief Kirstjen Nielsen as she dined at a Mexican restaurant in Washington.

Feinstein, who is facing a re-election challenge for her seat from the left, authored a bill that would bar children from being separated from their parents within 100 miles of the US border except for instances of abuse, neglect, or other extenuating circumstances.

It's also unclear what will happen to the children already separated. The shelters follow strict procedures surrounding who can gain access to the children in order to protect their safety, but that means information about their welfare can be limited. "Children do not belong in jail". A fourth, planned for Houston, would house up to 240 children in a warehouse previously used for people displaced by Hurricane Harvey, Mayor Sylvester Turner said. According to Nelson, 94 of the teenagers housed at the Homestead facility were taken from their families at the border, with a total of 174 such children housed in facilities across Florida.