The House is to vote later this week on two bills that address broader immigration issues to protect young immigrant "Dreamers", who have been living in the USA illegally since childhood, from deportation and fund Trump's border wall. Over in the Senate, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters Tuesday that all the members of his conference supported finding a solution to family separations at the border, but what that looks like is unclear, and that worries their counterparts in the House. Let us not forget, however, that the president, Department of Homeland Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and the many Trump apologists in Congress and on Fox News and other conservative outlets have lost all credibility on the issue.
Trump said Wednesday that while "we're going to have strong, very strong borders. we're going to keep families together". "And border security will be equal if not greater than previously".
Immigration dominated Trump's day: He spent much of an afternoon speech to a small business association riffing about immigration and suggesting he could push for changes to the House GOP legislation.
"This is a stopgap measure", said Gene Hamilton, counsel to the attorney general. Immigrant rights' advocates on Wednesday said they anxious about what that could mean for the due process rights of migrants and for their ability to make asylum claims from detention centers. The chorus of condemnation includes Democrats, as well as Republicans, who are increasingly anxious that reports about bereft children taken from their parents could damage the GOP's chances in November.
"Today's order is likely to just have the effect of jailing families who are seeking safety for months or years", Tumlin said.
- The children are not themselves in federal prison. "There are workable alternatives", president Richard Cohen said in a statement.
A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services - which is responsible for housing and caring for the already separated children - told NBC News it has no new orders on how to handle the children in its custody.
Also playing a role in the president's turnaround: First lady Melania Trump.
The former head of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement tells NBC News that migrant parents separated from their children at the border are sometimes unable to relocate their child and remain permanently separated.
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The White House has indicated the president would support both bills, which are slated for Thursday floor votes.
Sen. Chuck Schumer, the Democratic leader from NY, is adamant that Trump can end the family separations on his own and that legislation is not needed.
The person providing the information on the proposal was not authorized to do so by name and commented only on condition of anonymity.
Many Republicans in the House have sought more clarity from Trump before giving their backing to the broader immigration bills, which also offer different remedies for other provisions on protecting "Dreamer" immigrants from deportation and funding for Trump's border wall. Nielsen was heckled at a restaurant Tuesday evening and has faced protesters at her home.
USA protocol prohibits children being detained because while with their parents are charged with a crime their children are not. "Republicans want security. But I am working on something - it never ends!"
The policy had led to a spike in family separations in recent weeks, with more than 2,300 minors were separated from their families at the border from May 5 through June 9, according to the Department of Homeland Security. As of mid-June, the three centers were almost full, meaning ICE would potentially need to place children in its much larger network of immigration jails for adults.
Hundreds of immigrant children have been flown to shelters in cities far from where their parents are held. If the parent is considered a threat to the child or faces criminal proceedings - required under zero tolerance - the government must release the child to relatives or into the "least restrictive" accommodations possible within 20 days.