Trump Signs Executive Order To Stop Family Separations At Border
President Donald Trump has signed an executive order Wednesday that will keep families that cross into the United States together. According to CNBC, the President is not abandoning the "zero tolerance" policy of prosecuting all adults who cross illegally into the U.S.
The executive order will allow children to stay in detention centers with parents for an extended period of time. A 1997 order forbids children from being detained longer than 20 days with adults and according to FOX News, some in the administration believe the executive order could face a lawsuit.
Sources told Fox News that such an executive action by Trump could be seen to run afoul of the 1997 order and would likely draw a lawsuit. But the White House wants to try to take steps to uphold the enforcement of the law, while at the same time lessening the trauma of children being separated from their parents.
Republicans are reportedly working on a stand along bill that would address the issue of families in detention centers.
In 2015 the Obama administration came under fire for detaining children and parents in detention centers for long periods of time. According to NPR, the Obama administration was accused of violating the 1997 order.
Meanwhile, lawyers at the Los Angeles-based Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law and Obama administration officials have just a few days left to settle a lawsuit challenging the detention facilities for more than 2,000 women with children, who came here during last summer's border surge. The families are being held in detention centers in Texas and Pennsylvania. A federal judge in Los Angeles issued a preliminary ruling finding that the administration is violating an 18-year-old court settlement, Flores v. Meese. The settlement requires the government to house migrant children in "the least restrictive environment" or release them to relatives. The judge gave federal officials and the Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law time to reach an agreement on how to implement her ruling before she makes it final.
Republican and Democrat lawmakers have been calling for the policy of separating families to end, but Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told media on Tuesday that he opposed GOP legislation to end the practice.