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Trump Signs Executive Order Ending the Separation of Migrant Families
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An immigrant child separated from her parents cries. Photo courtesy of the Chicago Tribune.

Summary: President Trump has signed an executive order to end the practice of separating migrant children from their parents. 

Facing mounting political pressure, President Donald Trump signed an executive order, ending his administration’s policy of separating immigrant children from their parents.

  
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Trump signed the EO on Wednesday, according to USA Today. 

“We are going to keep the families together. I didn’t like the sight or the feeling of families being separated,” Trump said.

The practice drew national controversy after video and images emerged of child detention centers. There were images of children crying, sleeping on mats on the floor, and being locked in cages.

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Before Trump’s EO, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said that the US had a “zero tolerance” illegal immigration policy and that the US prosecuted all adults who crossed the US-Mexico border with criminal charges. He said that migrant children were separated from adults, who were sent to jails.

Trump’s new order was sent to Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, who had previously defended her department’s practice of separating families. Her views were condemned by the public, and this week, a video surfaced online of a group of protestors who shamed her as she tried to dine at a fancy Mexican restaurant.



Under Trump’s new executive orders, parents will still face criminal charges for crossing the border illegally, but they will no longer be separated from their children. The order said that DHS will be provided with facilities to take care of the families, and if not enough housing is available, the government will build it.

NBC News said that the cost of keeping families apart was actually higher than allowing them to be together.

“The cost of holding migrant children who have been separated from their parents in newly created “tent cities” is $775 per person per night, according to an official at the Department of Health and Human Services — far higher than the cost of keeping children with their parents in detention centers or holding them in more permanent buildings,” NBC News said.

Lawmakers who visited the captured migrants said that some were sent to “tender age” shelters in Texas. At these shelters, babies and young kids who were separated from their parents were constantly crying and acting out. The shelters appeared to be clean and had play equipment, but mental health experts said that it was the act of separation that was damaging, not their environment.

The controversial zero-tolerance immigration policy was announced by Sessions in April, and it was reportedly the idea of White House advisor Stephen Miller. Since its inception, over 2,000 immigrant children were ripped away from their parents.

What do you think of the zero-tolerance immigration policy? Let us know in the comments below.



 

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