President to sign "something" on migrant children

Donald Trump

US President Donald Trump said Wednesday he would sign an executive order to keep migrant families together at the border with Mexico, amid an escalating uproar over the separation of children from their parents.

A fourth, planned for Houston, would house up to 240 children in a warehouse previously used for people displaced by Hurricane Harvey, Mayor Sylvester Turner said. "It was after 10 o'clock at night", recalled Border Patrol agent Carlos Ruiz, who was the one to come across mother Sandra Sanchez and her daughter in Texas.

Still, Trump's order is likely to create a new set of problems involving length of detention of families, and may spark a fresh court fight.

"I didn't like sight of families being separated", Trump said.

While Trump held firm to his tough immigration stance in an earlier appearance Tuesday, he acknowledged during the closed-door meeting that the coverage of family separations is taking a toll.

The first lady has been working for several days behind the scenes, encouraging the President to keep families together, a White House official told CNN.

The measure would also offer protections to another vulnerable group - Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients - who are undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children.

"But we have to do more than say 'this isn't who we are.' We have to prove it - through our policies, our laws, our actions, and our votes", he said.

Trump had tweeted earlier Wednesday, "It's the Democrats fault, they won't give us the votes needed to pass good immigration legislation".

The senior aide also said that the public comments by senior Republicans like Sen.


The order, which Trump signed Wednesday, directs the Department of Homeland Security to keep families intact when they are caught crossing the border.

Trump's remarks came amid intense and growing backlash to his administration's policy of separating migrant children from their parents who cross the U.S. -Mexico border illegally.

British Prime Minister Theresa May said she found images of children being detained in cages "deeply disturbing" and called the separation policy "wrong".

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis., left, walks with President Donald Trump as they head to a meeting of House Republicans to discuss a GOP immigration bill at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, June 19, 2018. Said Trump: "Politically correct or not, we have a country that needs security, that needs safety, that has to be protected".

Even if Republicans manage to pass an immigration bill through the House, which is a tall order, the fight is all but certain to fizzle in the Senate.

Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook described the separation of children from parents at the U.S. -Mexico border as "inhumane" and promised to be a "constructive voice" in seeking to end the issue, the Irish Times newspaper reported.

He blamed "fake news" reports on children being put into detention camps, adding: 'I don't want children taken away from parents.

Before the president signed the order, lawmakers from both parties, mindful of how frequently Trump reverses course - particularly on immigration, where he has repeatedly shifted positions within the course of hours - waited to see the details of what it would do.

"We're saying stick with [the Department of Homeland Security] and we're going to finance facilities for families to make sure that they can be taken care of so we don't have to have this ridiculous choice between enforcing our borders and enforcing the law and keeping families together", Ryan, R-Wis., said.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Wednesday he is not involved in decisions about housing migrant children detained after crossing the border.

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