President Donald Trump has signed an executive order to prevent undocumented children from being separated from their parents when they are caught crossing the border between the U.S. and Mexico illegally. This order would allow children to remain with their parents in detention. However, it is unsure how long the detention will last. President Trump said the country wants to keep families together and also protect the border.
This executive order does not put an end to the zero-tolerance policy that prosecutes people caught crossing the border illegally. Adults crossing the border will still be prosecuted. The Trump administration announced in April people smuggling children into the U.S. will be prosecuted and the children will be separated from them while in detention. Over 2500 children smuggled into the U.S. were separated from their parents since then. These children were held in facilities run by the Office of Refugee Resettlement.
This zero-tolerance policy and family separations received condemnations from business leaders and clergy across the globe, including Pope Francis. As the condemnations intensified, President Trump was also urged by his wife, Melania and daughter, Ivanka, to make changes on this issue.
President Donald Trump said he is signing the executive order to make sure families are not separated while also ensuring the border is strong. This is the first ever reversal of a policy made by Trump since he assumed presidency. He announced his decision on Wednesday at the White House.
According to the executive order, government officials will continue to enforce its zero-tolerance policy on people who illegally cross the border. Parents and children will no longer be separated and will now be detained together. Those caught in the border will most likely be placed in detention centers or residential centers designed for families.