Trump signs executive order stopping family separation policy

Watch: President Trump announces executive order to keep immigrant families together

U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order Wednesday ending the process of separating children from families after they are detained crossing the U.S. border illegally, which has sparked outrage in the United States and overseas.

About a dozen protesters heckled Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen about the Trump administration's immigration policy as she ate dinner at a Mexican restaurant in Washington.

Kenneth Wolfe, a spokesman for the Department of Health and Human Services [HHS]' Administration for Children and Families [ACF], initially told reporters the children's cases would proceed through the system as usual.

When asked for clarification on the issue, an ACF spokesman told The Post that "It is still very early and we are awaiting further guidance on the matter".

"Reunification is always the ultimate goal", he said. "Do we look away, or do we choose to see something of ourselves and our children?" he wrote.

"We've got to be keeping families together", Trump said.

The protesters entered MXDC Cocina Mexicana Tuesday and chanted "Shame!" and "End family separation!"

At a later campaign-style rally of supporters in the northern state of Minnesota, he reiterated that the change does not mean a softening at the border. Melania Trump issued a rare policy statement over the weekend in which she split with her husband over the administration's policy.

Trump's decision came after sustained bipartisan criticism, including from former first ladies who spoke out Monday. We'll make it another time when things are going extremely well. "And border security will be equal, if not greater than previously".

The order also provides that the Department of Homeland Security won't detain an immigrant family together "when there is a concern that detention of an alien child with the child's alien parent would pose a risk to the child's welfare".

In the meantime, the administration faces ongoing legal challenges.

Obama's post comes the same day Trump reacted to national and global outrage over the border policy by saying he'd be "signing something in a little while" that would resolve the concerns about the border policy.

Wednesday's move was the most significant policy reversal by Trump since he took office in January 2017.

The order follows an outcry from Republican and Democratic lawmakers, human rights advocates, religious leaders and others over stories and images of migrant children being taken from their parents and detained, sometimes in metal cages. "These individuals are from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and China".

More: Fact check: What's really going on with immigrant children being detained at the border? A senior Justice Department official said that hasn't changed.

The policy, with mandatory separation of children from adults, was announced May 7 as a deterrent.

Niurka Lopez of MI said Trump's "zero-tolerance" policy made sense because her family came to the USA legally from Cuba and everyone else should, too.

Current laws including the Flores Settlement, he argued, simply encouraged people to enter the country with their children, expecting to be caught and then released into U.S. society. It's not clear, however, whether either has enough support to pass.

With this, he also called on Democrats for support.

Reaction to the executive order began coming nearly immediately.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection said on Tuesday that 2,342 children had been separated from their parents at the border between May 5 and June 9.

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