President Trump’s policy of separating families at the border drew widespread outrage. Democrats and even a large member of Republicans demanded that Trump change the policy. But for days Trump refused to do anything. He said the policy was a law that had been enacted by Democrats. The problem with Trump’s statement was the policy was never a law and his administration was the one that enacted it. Wednesday afternoon Trump finally did something about it.
Stopping family separation
Since news first broke about the separation policy, Trump pointed to the Democrats and said only Congress had the ability to change the policy. Trump eventually huddled with fellow Republicans on the hill to discuss the separation policy. The meeting reportedly didn’t go well and mostly involved Trump talking the entire time without taking any questions, but the President did admit that the policy looked bad politically.
Officials announced last week that between April 19 and May 31 about 2,000 children were separated at the border from the adults they were traveling with. Unlike past administrations, the Trump administration is prosecuting illegal border crossings as a crime.
On Wednesday, President Trump signed an executive order to “address family separations.” The new order directs the Department of Homeland Security to “maintain custody of alien families” to the “extent permitted by law.”
The other kids still aren’t alright
The 2,000 kids already in custody will not be affected by Trump’s new order. A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Service’s Administration for Children and Families said that the minors currently in the agency’s program will be processed as “usual.”
Nearly 100 shelters for children in 17 states are being operates by the department. Officials would not say how many children are currently are in custody. Various organizations have said the shelters are in good condition, but that the children are shaken and scared.
Before Trump announced the zero-tolerance policy, the government awarded millions of dollars in contracts to companies willing to build and operate the camps. Currently, there are no plans to reunite the children in custody with their parents.