Ivanka Trump, the presidential adviser who has billed herself as a "force for good" in the administration, remained silent for days as the firestorm over forced separations of migrant families consumed the White House.
President Trump moved to end his administration's policy separating children from immigrant parents who cross into the USA illegally - but California elected officials and activists blasted the new practice of detaining immigrant families together indefinitely.
But democrats oppose them and it is uncertain that they will pass.
The confusion spoke to the rushed nature of the measure, which came about rapidly after Trump instructed aides early on Wednesday to prepare a way for him to officially, and publicly, end the separation practice.
Aside from Congressional Democrats, the Trump administration was facing major opposition from Republican lawmakers over its immigration policy. It was not immediately clear whether the caveat means some separations will still happen.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) now separates most families when they are apprehended for illegal border crossing, Reid notes. "I am also deeply troubled to hear reports that the administration, in its haste to hold innocent children hostage in order to demand funds for a border wall, failed to plan appropriately to reunite these families following their separation", the Democrat said.
Video footage of children sitting in cages and an audiotape of wailing children had sparked anger as the images were broadcast worldwide. "If we don't do it, you will be inundated with people and you really won't have a country", Trump said. "It's about keeping families together, while at the same time being sure we have a very powerful, very strong border", Trump said.
"We expect the House to act this week". "We're also not going to let people just step all over us and try and rearrange what was agreed to at the 11th hour".
"My wife feels strongly about it. Perhaps I'd rather be strong".
"I would do nearly anything to deter the people from Central America to getting on this very, very risky network that brings them up through Mexico into the United States", he said. Instinctively combative and fond of chaos, Trump usually digs in on controversial policies, rather than backing down. "Nobody wants to see parents and children separated, but. the blame should be put squarely back on the shoulders of the people who broke the law in the first place".
And a top Justice Department official, Gene Hamilton, described the order as a "stopgap" fix to give the courts or Congress time to overturn the 20-day limitation on the detention of children in Department of Homeland Security facilities.
The executive order directed government lawyers to seek a modification of the Flores settlement, a consent decree from 1997 that bars the federal government from holding children in immigrant detention for more than 20 days.
Held in caged detention centers where employees are not allowed to comfort them, the children ― many of whom are young babies and toddlers ― are experiencing something traumatic enough to trigger lifelong health consequences, doctors say.
"This executive order would replace one crisis for another".
The order maintains an exception for when the child is at risk or there is concern the parent would pose a risk to the child's welfare.
Pressed on whether her recent comments that the president can't solve the immigration problem with executive action, Nielsen emphasized that Congress must act to secure the border and codify law to keep immigrant families together to guard against potential legal rulings.
"We have court cases, right, that prohibit us from keeping families together".
The House will also vote on a more hard-line immigration proposal favored by conservatives. The roll calls would let Republicans assert to voters that they tried addressing the immigration problem. Trump added that he did not like the "sight or feeling" of families being separated, Sputnik reported.
On Capitol Hill, staffers on the White House legislative team were meeting with congressional members to discuss the pending immigration bills when word of an executive order arrived.
The House killed a hard-right immigration bill, and Republican leaders delayed a planned vote on a compromise GOP package with the party's lawmakers fiercely divided over an issue that has long confounded them.
The move reverses a tough policy under heavy pressure from his fellow Republicans, Democrats and the worldwide community.
It has been a bad thing for the families torn apart, and some of them, it is becoming frighteningly clear, may never recover, may never be brought back together again.
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