World leaders slam Trump for separating families at the US-Mexico border

Donald Trump

Trump signs executive order to keep families together at border, says "zero-tolerance" prosecution policy will continue.

It's also unclear what will happen to the children already separated.

The order aims to end the separation of most migrant families by detaining them together while they await their court dates in criminal and immigration court. "We don't like to see families separated". And Trump has told advisers he believes he looks strong on the matter, suggesting that it could be a winning culture war issue much like his attacks on NFL players who take a knee for the national anthem.

Trump did not say when the picnic on the South Lawn, which is attended by lawmakers and their families, as well as White House and senior administration officials, would be rescheduled.

US Customs and Border Protection said on Tuesday that 2,342 children had been separated from their parents at the border between May 5 and June 9.

"It's about keeping families together while ensuring we have a powerful border", Trump said of the order.

The move - if it retreats from his current stance that the administration is simply following the current law and needs congressional action to stop the separations - would mark a huge reversal by the President.

"We have to get the Democrats to go ahead and work with us because as a result of Democrat-supported loopholes in our federal laws, most illegal immigrant families and minors from Central America who arrive unlawfully at the border can not be detained together or removed together - only released", he said.

Hundreds of immigrant children have been flown to shelters in cities far from where their parents are held.

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It was a dramatic turnaround for Trump, who has been insisting, wrongly, that his administration had no choice but to separate families apprehended at the border because of federal law and a court decision. In a letter sent to Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Tuesday, a dozen Republican senators said separating families isn't consistent with American values and ordinary human decency.

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.

Republican politicians are scrambling to find a way to end a policy of separating families crossing the US-Mexico border illegally, as an outcry over the issue grows. "It's very important. I'll be signing something in a little while that's going to do that and the people in this room want to do that and they're working on various pieces of legislation to get it done".

He ends his message with a call to action, pushing Congress to take legislative action and all Americans to vote. After the Congresswoman from Wisconsin had finished speaking, Trump told her, "Say hello to your father".

The worldwide community's condemnation of Trump's immigration policies has been compounded by the Trump administration's decision to withdraw the U.S. from the UN Human Rights Council.

House Republicans hosted him on Tuesday evening, hoping for some clarity after he initially appeared to torpedo the compromise bill on Friday that has a chance of getting a majority of Republicans on board.

Immigrant children now housed in a tent encampment under the new "zero tolerance" policy by the Trump administration are shown walking in single file at the facility near the Mexican border in Tornillo, Texas.

Planning at the Justice Department had been underway over the past several days to provide the president with options on the growing crisis, said the official, who, like others, spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the effort before its official announcement.

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