After receiving national and worldwide criticism for his “zero tolerance” family separation policy, Trump has announced that he is preparing to issue an executive order that ends the separation of families at the border by indefinitely detaining parents and children together.
According to White House officials, as soon as Wednesday (Jun 20), Trump’s executive order would indefinitely end the separation portion of the policy immediately and seek to get around an existing 1997 consent decree, known as the Flores settlement, that prohibits the federal government from keeping children in immigration detention — even if they are with their parents — for more than 20 days.
“We’re going to be signing an executive order in a little while,” Trump said Wednesday during a press conference. “We’ve got to be keeping families together.”
The sudden change comes weeks after Trump refused to end the controversial and inhumane policy that led to more than 2,300 children being separated from their parents. After the stories of children being taken from their parents and images of teenagers in cages and using foil for blankets in detention facilities burst into a heated political crisis for the Trump Administration, the president has finally decided to take action.
The latest change also comes after several states withdrew border support over the policy and the spokesman for United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement, James Schwab, resigned saying that he could no longer “bear the burden” of spreading falsehoods on behalf of the Trump administration.
Despite the intended act of faux heroism, The New York Times reports that Trump is increasingly frustrated by the criticism he is getting, and aware that he is boxed in by the legal argument his administration has made and reports indicate that Trump remains convinced that his immigration policies are appropriate and necessary.