President Trump has just signed an executive order that will end family separations at the border—but not his new, controversial “zero-tolerance” policy.
The White House faced widespread criticism—including among many religious leaders—for the policy which saw immigration officials in the U.S. take hundreds of children from their parents in just a matter of days.
Just a day before he said: “Under current law, we have only two policy options to respond to this massive crisis. We can either release all illegal immigrant families and minors who show up at the border from Central America or we can arrest the adults for the federal crime of illegal entry. Those are the only two options, totally open borders or criminal prosecution for law-breaking.”
The “zero-tolerance” policy mandates that anyone caught illegally crossing the border be detained—even if they are seeking legal asylum—for an indefinite amount of time when they receive a court date. Under the previous policy, those caught crossing the border were given a court date, and were asked to return at a specific time.
It’s not clear yet how the government plans on detaining families together.
Earlier this week, Trump said: “The dilemma is if you’re weak, … the country is going to be overwhelmed with [undocumented immigrants] … If you’re strong, then you don’t have any heart. Perhaps I’d like to be strong.”