The Trump administration signed an executive order to start detaining families together while prosecuting all people who illegally cross the U.S.-Mexico border.
“The Secretary of Homeland Security (Secretary), shall, to the extent permitted by law and subject to the availability of appropriations, maintain custody of alien families during the pendency of any criminal improper entry or immigration proceedings involving their members,” Trump wrote in the order.
The executive action requires federal authorities to detain families together while being prosecuted rather than operating under current guidelines which require separation. The executive action, however, is likely to face immediate lawsuit given its violation of current U.S. guidance which requires children to be housed separately from adult incarceration facilities.
BREAKING: AP Sources: Homeland Security secretary drafting order to end family separation at border; unclear if Trump will sign it.
— The Associated Press (@AP) June 20, 2018
Acting Director of ICE Thomas Homan lamented that executive action is nearly impossible on the part of Trump because of existing court rulings. “The president’s hands are tied. There is legislation that limits how long we can detain children. Congress can really fix it. Congress is placing the blame. I’ve been doing this 34 years. Immigration has been a problem 34 years,” Homan said.
The executive action consideration comes just one day before the House of Representatives will vote on two immigration bills which include the administration’s broader immigration priorities. These bills also would end the practice of family separation.