North Dakota lawmakers react to President's Executive Order

U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping

U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping

Business and religious leaders, four former US first ladies and Trump's wife, Melania Trump, also voiced sharp criticism of the policy to split up migrant families, many of them escaping poverty and turmoil in Central America, as they illegally crossed the USA border. An official from the Department of Health and Human Services said Wednesday there would be no special efforts to reunite children already separated.

He called the measure "somewhat preemptive" but called on Congress to work towards a more permanent fix on the issue, saying that perhaps a more comprehensive immigration reform bill- one that may tackle the family separation issue, while also addressing security concerns, etc. - may be possible.

Under a previous class-action settlement that set policies for the treatment and release of minors caught at the border, families can only be detained for 20 days. "Reunification is always the ultimate goal of those entrusted with the care of [unaccompanied children], and the administration is working towards that for those [unaccompanied children] now in HHS custody".

The Trump administration earlier this year began enforcing a policy that separated members of families that cross United States borders illegally.

"We can enforce our immigration laws without breaking families apart", Ryan said Wednesday before Trump announced he would sign an executive order to end breaking up families.

Videos of youngsters in cages and an audiotape of wailing children have sparked anger at home from groups ranging from clergy to influential business leaders, as well as condemnation from overseas.

One Republican, Rep. Joe Wilson of SC, announced he would support the legislation after meeting with Trump, who he said was persuasive.

He said he was inviting Congress' top two Democrats, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, to the White House for immigration bargaining.

Townsend said it's not expected that Mr. Trump will change his policy.

"Ivanka feels very strongly".

Trump reversed his policy after heavy criticism from Republican and Democratic lawmakers, his own wife and daughter, and two-thirds of Americans, who strongly disapproved of the move in recent polling.

"I sensed he was very sad", she says.

"Now, all of a sudden, they're big open-border people". "No matter how you cut it, it leads to separation ultimately". Justice lawyers were planning to file a challenge to the agreement, known as the Flores settlement, asking that a judge allow for the detention of families until criminal and removal proceedings are completed. Because any illegal border crossing is prosecuted, parents and children are separated during the legal process.

Trump's executive order went into effect immediately when he signed it, according to Gene Hamilton, counselor to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

After a downturn past year, since October, the number of migrants seeking to cross the southwest U.S. border from impoverished Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, as well as from Mexico, has surged.

Trump's order also requests that the Defense Department make facilities available on military bases to house detained immigrant families or to construct new facilities.

"This executive order would replace one crisis for another".

Another question concerns the number of exceptions the Trump administration will allow to its policy of keeping parents and children together. "If the president thinks placing families in jail indefinitely is what people have been asking for, he is grossly mistaken", Anthony Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, said in a statement.

CBP agents were instructed Wednesday night to no longer send parents with children to federal courthouses for prosecution.

"We have a chance", said Rep. Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla. Trump blamed Democrats for the lack of current legislation sto address this issue.

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a Cabinet meeting at the White House in Washington, U.S., June 21, 2018.

Those moderate Republicans almost succeeded in garnering enough votes for what's called a "discharge petition" that would have forced votes on a number of different immigration proposals, including one that may have passed with a majority of Democrats and a small number of House Republicans.

The Trump administration, meanwhile, has asked the Defense Department to provide space at military facilities by the end of the year to house 20,000 children who have arrived in the USA without any adults.

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