Trump tells federal agencies to reunite families at border; Melania visits region

Clay Curtis
June 21, 2018

A member of a migrant family from Mexico, fleeing from violence, looks on while waiting to enter the United States to meet officers of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection to apply for asylum at Paso del Norte global border crossing bridge in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico June 20, 2018.

"They have not ever been interested [in bipartisanship]", Pelosi said during her weekly press briefing in the Capitol.

He said his order would not end the "zero-tolerance" policy that criminally prosecutes all adults caught crossing the border illegally.

The center is operated under a federal contract that places unaccompanied migrant children in short-term foster care. The children and parents were separated two or three days ago and are now in custody, with parents unaware of their exact whereabouts.

Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives have not yet rounded up the votes needed to pass immigration legislation they plan to take up later on Thursday, a member of the House Republican leadership said.

"I didn't like the sight or the feeling of families being separated", said Trump.

Amid public outcry over the thousands of migrant children separated from their parents at the U.S. -Mexico border, President Donald Trump signed an executive order to keep families together.

"The dilemma is that if you're weak, as some people would like you to be, if you're really, really pathetically weak, the country's going to be overrun with millions of people", Trump said on Wednesday, explaining his internal debate, "and if you're strong, then you don't have any heart".

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De Blasio told reporters the children at Harlem's Cayuga Center included a 9-year-old Honduran boy sent to the center 2,000 miles by bus after being detained at the border.

"Now, we're going to keep them together".

Both House bills, backed by Trump but opposed by Democrats and immigration advocacy groups, would fund the wall Trump has proposed along the US border with Mexico and reduce legal migration, in part by denying visas for some relatives of USA residents and citizens living overseas.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks at the National Sheriffs' Association convention in New Orleans, Monday, June 18, 2018. Party leaders, including Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan, have lobbied lawmakers this week in hopes of securing their support for the legislation. Also, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis and the heads of other agencies are ordered to find or construct facilities to house the detained families.

The debate has been shaken in recent weeks by the unexpected outcry over the separation of migrant children and parents at the border - a effect of a recent administrative crack-down on illegal border crossings that left Ryan and GOP leaders scrambling for a legislative fix. The decision to cease prosecutions of parents with children was made by the Department of Homeland Security for logistical purposes because the official said it would not be "feasible" to bring children to federal courtrooms while their parents go before a judge.

The lines of asylum seekers at some locations on the border seem to have waned in recent days as the US government's treatment of migrants has come under scrutiny.

Top CBP officials did not know what the executive order would ask them to do until its release Wednesday, the official said. The president warned there are criminals who use children as tickets to enter the U.S.

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