Supporters of Trump steadfast despite immigration uproar

Hannah Rogers
June 23, 2018

Susan Collins, R-Me., to start talking about possible longer-term legislative solutions to address the issues surrounding families being separated on the US border.

While all participants in the meeting also agreed that their meeting was just the start of what is likely to be a series of long discussions and possible congressional hearings, the consensus among Democrats and Republicans was that beyond ending family separation, there was little consensus on which to build.

"The administration still plans to criminalize families - including children - by holding them in prison-like detention facilities".

President Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday ending his administration's policy of separating migrant children from their parents who were detained as they attempted to enter the USA illegally.

Government officials familiar with early drafts of the executive order spoke to NBC News about how the order is supposed to allow families to be detained together, but the "zero tolerance" policy of charging people with a misdemeanor for entering illegally would remain and continue to be enforced. "It's about keeping families together, while at the same time being sure we have a very powerful, very strong border", Trump said.

Trump insisted to aides he take some type of formal action, despite the fact the separations could be ended without one, saying it was necessary he be seen as taking a decisive step rather than quietly reversing his own "zero-tolerance" policy that led to the crisis. Officials have said they are working to reunite families but have provided no clear answers on how. "I hate to use the world simple, but I will say it was less complex".

"This is the most consensus bill you can get on a contentious issue", said Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y. The order does not end a "zero tolerance" policy that calls for criminal prosecution of immigrants crossing the border illegally.

Cincinnati resident Andrew Pappas supported President Donald Trump's decision to separate children from parents who crossed the border illegally because, he said, it got Congress talking about immigration reform.

New York City's mayor says he was surprised to learn a children's center in Harlem is caring for 239 migrant children separated from their parents by federal immigration officials.

Where are the children taken?

Rarely do children show up at the border without a plan, she said, and usually they're planning to stay with a family member or someone else.

Bills have been introduced in both chambers and from both sides of the aisle with the goal of reversing the family separation policy.

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But even Trump's visit left lawmakers uncertain because he said he supported the compromise bill as well as a rival conservative measure that is also coming for a vote Thursday.

Republican Senator Marco Rubio welcomed the executive order.

Amid mounting pressure from Democrats and Republicans alike - and disapproving public opinion polls - the president put pen to paper on a directive that will keep families together, albeit still kept in cages.

The order calls for the families to be detained together while their cases are considered. However, a former ICE director has said some family separations are "permanent". The order said it is the administration's policy "to maintain family unity, including by detaining alien families together where appropriate and consistent with law and available resources". "This is an area where Congress should act, we should have common ground", said Sen. That suggests, as some of Trump's advisers have said, that the policy was popular with his voters even as it was clearly political trouble for Republicans in some swing congressional districts. "A lot of good things are happening toward immigration, and proper immigration".

Media captionThe US teens training in border patrolWhat happens now?

Rep. Debbie Lesko, R-Peoria, who was at the White House to discuss border regulation Wednesday, agreed that it is Congress' responsibility to "permanently fix our broken immigration system and prevent this from happening in the future". But, she said, "we are waiting our turn, and hoping".

Ringelstein said he would deliver water, toys and books to imprisoned children in McAllen, Texas, later this week whether federal immigration authorities let him in or not.

The kitchen-sink approach comes as Democrats work to sustain the energy of the Trump resistance heading into this fall's midterm elections when the GOP's House and Senate majorities are at stake.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says a bridge over Lake Texoma remains closed while divers search for the driver of a tractor-trailer rig that plunged into the lake on the Oklahoma-Texas border following a deadly collision.

"I thought the whole point of this was to reunite the kids", John Sandweg said.

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