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Donald Trump says he is directing agencies to reunite detained children with parents

US President Donald Trump said on Thursday he is directing government agencies to reunite immigrant families separated after crossing into the United States from Mexico.

world Updated: Jun 21, 2018 22:15 IST
Reuters
Reuters
Washington
Immigrant families,Migrants,Mexico
A Mexican woman holds a doll next to children at the Paso Del Norte Port of Entry, in the US-Mexico border in Chihuahua state, Mexico on June 20, 2018. US President Donald Trump said he would sign an executive order to keep migrant families together at the border with Mexico, amid an escalating uproar over the separation of children from their parents.(AFP Photo)

US President Donald Trump said on Thursday he is directing government agencies to reunite immigrant families separated after crossing into the United States from Mexico.

He made the comment during a meeting with his Cabinet at the White House.

The Trump administration faced severe criticism over its zero-tolerance policy, sparking outrage across the country and causing furore from both Democrats and Republicans.

Trump on Wednesday signed an executive order ending the weeks-old policy of separating children from families crossing into the United States illegally, something that had horrified and anguished people across the world.

“We’re going to have strong — very strong — borders, but we are going to keep the families together,” Trump said moments before signing the order at a White House event. Then, in a barely concealed and cynical attempt at self-preservation, he added: “I didn’t like the sight or the feeling of families being separated.”

Around 2,300 children, some as young as four, were separated from their families in the weeks since the controversial policy went into effect in May. They were kept in separate facilities — described as cage-like — as their parents underwent legal process pending deportation back to their countries.

The executive order was a rare instance of the president retreating from a decision, and he sought to tamp down any suggestion of having done so. “No, no, the border is just as tough, but we do want to keep families together,” the president insisted, when asked by a reporter if he was backing down.

First Published: Jun 21, 2018 22:02 IST