Confusion at U.S. border after Trump's order to stop family separations

Cheryl Sanders
June 23, 2018

As reports swirled, Mr Trump told his fellow Republicans in Congress to "stop wasting their time" on immigration legislation until after November, dismissing his party's struggle to surmount internal divisions.

President Donald Trump's order to stop separating migrant children from their parents spread confusion and uncertainty along the border, with no clear plan to reunite families but with growing signs the administration is dialing back its "zero tolerance" policy on those entering the USA illegally.

House Republicans postponed a vote Thursday on an immigration bill after House leaders said they did not have enough support from their own party to pass the measure.

He added: "Republicans should stop wasting their time on immigration until after we elect more senators and Congressmen/women in November".

This week, congressional Republicans planned to vote on a pair of immigration bills that can't pass the House - for the sake of preventing a vote on a bill that actually could. In a series of tweets, Trump said, "Dems are just playing games, have no intention of doing anything to solve this decades-old problem".

The executive order Trump signed is contingent on the modification of a court settlement that now requires children to be released from detention after 20 days. Meanwhile, a vote on a more moderate "compromise" immigration bill written by GOP leadership, which the Trump administration also supports, was delayed until Friday and then pushed back until next week. Castillo said they did not know about the family separation policy when they began hitchhiking to the US two weeks ago.

Key Republican lawmakers who have been involved in the negotiations said Friday that talks would continue through the weekend.

Still, many immigrant rights and legal advocates worry that Heartland Alliance and other shelters the office oversees are not prepared to care for babies and toddlers.

President Donald Trump on Friday ripped the nation's "weak" immigration laws, telling families of people who died at the hands of illegal immigrants that "our first duty, and our highest loyalty, is to the citizens of the United States".

Even if the House Republicans approve a bill, it faces nearly certain defeat in the upper chamber, where the Republicans also hold a majority but where Democrats hold enough seats to prevent the GOP from reaching the 60 votes needed for passage. "Really good policy in that bill, but our objective is not just to have good policy in a bill, it's to pass a bill and ultimately to get a bill on President Trump's desk that he will sign".

Administration officials on Wednesday refused to say what they would do with the migrant children in three weeks should they fail to get an exemption from a court or pass legislation through Congress.

Trump's decision to stop separating families, announced Wednesday after a fierce global outcry, has led to confusion and uncertainty along the border.

President Donald Trump, after a tactical retreat this week on immigration policy, demonstrated Friday that there is no strategic shift to his overall tough approach to those attempting to illegally enter the country, and vowing to "end the immigration crisis, once and for all".

He indicated his "zero tolerance" policy of prosecuting all illegal immigrants would continue, but families could remain together.

"She said she never wants to come back, and that this experience has been so traumatizing", Cortes Romero said.

While the exact whip count on the compromise bill is unclear, it is possible more Republicans would oppose it than the 41 GOP members who voted against a conservative measure by Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte. One outside White House adviser has called Miller a Nazi and Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.) urged Trump to fire him on Thursday.

But Democrats retorted that Trump's Friday tweet proved that it was the president who wanted to keep the issue alive for political reasons. If Democrats take control of the House, they are unlikely to approve that wall funding. "The executive order is a very temporary fix".

Other reports by iNewsToday