Washington, June 21: US President Donald Trump has bowed to public pressure and signed an executive order promising to “keep families together” in migrant detentions. Trump reversed his own policy amid international fury over the separation of undocumented parents and children. He said he had been swayed by images of children who have been taken from parents while they are jailed and prosecuted for illegal border-crossing. It was not immediately clear when Trump’s order would be implemented. “It’s about keeping families together,” Trump said at the signing ceremony on Wednesday, reports BBC. “I did not like the sight of families being separated,” he said, but added the administration would continue its “zero tolerance policy” of criminally prosecuting anyone who crosses the border illegally.
Trump’s order also calls for prioritising immigration cases involving detained families. “I think anybody with a heart would feel very strongly about it,” he said. “We don’t like to see families separated.” Republican congressional leader Paul Ryan said the House of Representatives will vote on Thursday “on legislation to keep families together”. He did not immediately provide details of the bill, but said it resolves the issue of so-called Dreamers, undocumented adult migrants who entered the US as children, “in a very elegant way”.
Critics have countered that Mr Trump unilaterally created the situation that produced the heart-rending accounts of children separated from their parents, and he could unilaterally fix it. Now the fight will probably move to the courts, with legal challenges to the administration’s decision to hold detained families together while their immigration status is adjudicated. (IANS)