The Trump administration's zero-tolerance immigration policy has shaken the country (and the world). Millions were moved and outraged as they saw countless heartbreaking photos of crying children being ripped away from their parents at the U.S./Mexico border as part of that policy. The sight was a phenomenon all too familiar when it comes to American history but one many Americans hoped was a thing of the past.
On Wednesday, June 20, Trump signed a temporary executive order stating immigrant children will no longer be separated from their parents at the border, according to The New York Times. They'll now be detained in the questionable conditions of detention facilities along with their families as they await legal proceedings.
HuffPost reports the Trump administration has separated almost 2,000 immigrant children from their parents since mid-April 2018. The fate of these children in the wake of the new order is unclear. Earlier this week, a former ICE director confirmed the administration has no plans of reuniting some of the families they've torn apart.
The policy even caused former President Barack Obama to break his self-imposed silence to condemn the policy of family separation.
“[T]o watch those families broken apart in real time puts to us a very simple question: are we a nation that accepts the cruelty of ripping children from their parents’ arms, or are we a nation that values families, and works to keep them together?” Obama wrote in his statement. “Do we look away, or do we choose to see something of ourselves and our children?”
Not long after Obama issued his statement, President Trump, who previously blamed Democrats for the policy (despite it being a creation of the Trump White House) formally addressed the growing outrage over the separations.
https://t.co/yfwdyUHmn3— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 20, 2018
“I’ll be signing something in a little while that’s going to do that,” promised Trump. “I’ll be doing something that’s somewhat pre-emptive and ultimately will be matched by legislation I’m sure.”
After claiming only Congress had the power to end forced family separation at the border, Trump has reportedly decided to reverse his administration's policy.
BREAKING — @realDonaldTrump signs and executive order in the Oval Office relenting on the family separation policy. Pence and Kirstjen Nielsen were with him.— Michael D. Shear (@shearm) June 20, 2018
“We’re going to have strong, very strong borders, but we’re going to keep the families together,” Trump said, according to the Seattle Times. He further noted he decided he had the power to end the policy after all because he didn't like the "sight" or "feeling" of seeing the crying children being snatched from their families.