Separating immigrant families is a cruel means to a cruel end

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President Trump told pool reporters at the White House he will be signing an executive order Wednesday afternoon to change current zero tolerance policies for illegal aliens who cross the border with children.

But at this point Senate Democrats, who keep pointing out that Trump could fix the problem with a stroke of a pen, aren't onboard; parallel efforts in the House can't go anywhere until Republicans finish up their votes on the two broader immigration bills; and worst of all, the White House hasn't blessed any particular strategy.

"We have seen no information so far on reunification plans and procedures", the person said.

Watch: President Trump announces executive order to keep immigrant families together
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Nielsen is working with the other agencies, including the Justice Department, Health and Human Services and the law enforcement agencies within Homeland Security on the proposed changes.

The Trump order, an unusual reversal by him, also moves parents with children to the front of the line for immigration proceedings.

"And to watch those families broken apart in real time puts to us a very simple question: are we a nation that accepts the cruelty of ripping children from their parents' arms, or are we a nation that values families, and works to keep them together?"

Both House bills, which Democrats and immigration advocacy groups have blasted, would fund Trump's proposed wall on the US-Mexico border, as well as reduce legal migration, in part by denying visas for some relatives of US residents and citizens living overseas, sometimes called "chain migration".

Humanitarian group Doctors Without Borders also marked World Refugee Day by condemning the Trump administration's zero tolerance policy, saying in a release that the USA government was "effectively dismantling protections. created to protect refugees and asylum seekers". For thousands of others, though, there's no end in sight to the separations.

The Democratic mayor said he didn't know until that morning that such large numbers of children taken from their parents were being brought to NY.

The action, according to people familiar with it, wouldn't end the zero tolerance policy, but would aim to keep families together while they are in custody and ask the Department of Defense to help house the detained families.

The president had repeatedly, and as recently as Wednesday morning, blamed Democrats and previous administrations for the widely condemned policy of taking children from parents, and was accused of placing the children in a hostage-like situation so as to not only pass sweeping immigration reforms but to ensure funding for his proposed border wall.

That same day, congressional Republicans, keen to secure an end to the separation policy as they worked on separate immigration legislation, got vague marching orders from Trump during a meeting on Capitol Hill. If children are to be sent here he should demand paperwork connecting those children to a parent somewhere. "But because of a 1997 order and related decisions, children can not be detained for longer than 20 days with the adults", writes Fox News.

"[We] have to do more than say 'this isn't who we are.'" he wrote. The decision did not state parents must be released.