Trump signs executive order to end family separations at border
US President Donald Trump today signed an executive order aimed at putting an end to the controversial separation of migrant families at the border, reversing a harsh practice that had earned international scorn.
"It's about keeping families together," Trump said at the signing ceremony. "I did not like the sight of families being separated," he added.
In recent weeks, some 2,500 children who crossed the US border illegally along with their parents have been separated from them. Media reports have appeared about heart-rending scenes of children crying for their parents.
A day earlier, Trump blamed the opposition Democrats for the current impasse and asked them to come out with a legislative fix.
Senate Minority Leader Senator Chuck Schumer said the Trump administration has been sending babies and young children to what they call "tender age facilities.
It is unconscionable, unconscionable, that the government of the United States is warehousing babies and toddlers, alone, in an institutional setting, he said.
Schumer alleged that this crisis was wilfully and purposefully created by Trump through his zero tolerance policy at the border.
It can - and should - be ended by the same mechanism. With the simple flick of the pen, a simple flick of the pen, the president can end this policy. If the president wants to borrow my pen, he can have it. But he can do it quickly and easily if he wants to. It's on his back, he said.
The administration must end this gratuitous, cruel, and counterproductive policy that has brought such pain to innocent children and so much shame on this nation, Schumer said, adding that no law requires the separation of children from their families.
No law says you must send babies to detention facilities. And no law is required to end it. Nineteen Republicans here in the Senate have already called on the Trump administration to reverse or suspend this policy administratively, without any Congressional action. If our Republican colleagues, and the Republican leadership in particular, want to solve this problem, they ought to be directing their attention to the other side of Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House because that's where it can get done, done well, and done quickly, he said.