WASHINGTON (CBSMiami) — President Trump has signed an executive order that ends family separations at the southern border.
“I didn’t like the sight or the feeling of families being separated,” said Trump.
“Anybody with a heart would feel very strongly about it, but at the same time we don’t want people coming into the country illegally,” he added.
Family separation has seen a recent uptick due to Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ “zero-tolerance” policy for illegal entry at the U.S.-Mexico border. Because any illegal border crossing is prosecuted, parents and children are separated during the legal process.
The President’s action came after a second straight day of meeting with congressional Republicans. He’s pressuring the lawmakers to take action. The House is slated to vote on a pair of immigration bills on Thursday.
“We can enforce our immigration laws without breaking families apart,” said House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-WI.
Both are broad immigration bills that also address family separation. It’s not clear, however, whether either has enough support to pass.
Meantime, the Associated Press is reporting separated infants and young children are being held at what the government calls “tender age” facilities in south Texas.
The children are being sent to three centers in Combes, Raymondville and Brownsville in southern Texas, which have been repurposed to house the youngest migrants, including those younger than five, The Associated Press reported Tuesday evening.
Another center is planned for Houston, The Associated Press reported.
Medical providers who have visited the facilities say they are safe and clean, but the children are often crying and acting out.
The AP did not identify the unnamed “lawyers and medical providers” whose accounts of the facilities form the basis of the report.
At least 2,000 children have been separated from their parents since the zero-tolerance immigration policy went into effect earlier this year.