House set to vote Thursday on immigration bills

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Many lawmakers say he could simply reverse the administration's "zero tolerance" policy and keep families together.

Peter Schey, class-appointed counsel in the Flores case, said Wednesday there was nothing in the agreement that prevents Homeland Security officials from detaining children with their parents, "as long as the conditions of detention are humane and the child remains eligible for release, unless the child is a flight risk, or a danger to herself or others, or the child's parent does not wish the child to be released". Senators anxious Trump's fix would not stand up in court and were eager to go on record in opposition to the practice of separating families.

Problem solved, right? Not quite.

After days of mounting pressure, President Donald Trump signed an executive order ending the process of separating children from families after they are detained crossing the USA border illegally. It also moves parents with children to the front of the line for immigration proceedings.

More than 2,300 minors were separated from their families at the border from May 5 through June 9, according to the Department of Homeland Security. In the meantime, he said, this is not a matter for the Pentagon to comment on.

The House of Representatives planned to vote on Thursday (June 21) on two bills created to halt the practice of separating families and to address other immigration issues.

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Trump is again placing blame on Democrats, asserting that "they won't give us the votes needed to pass good immigration legislation".

HHS is caring for about 11,800 migrant children, of which about 8 in 10 arrived without a parent.

More: Fact check: What's really going on with immigrant children being detained at the border?

As Republicans met privately Wednesday to discuss their legislation, House Democrats brought about two dozen immigrant children to the chamber floor in an unusual morning protest that defied House rules as they condemned the separation of families at the border. Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., said Americans were "standing up for children, standing up for those who are in need".

US President Donald Trump backed down on Wednesday (June 20) on an immigration policy that sparked outrage at home and overseas, signing an executive order to end the separation of children from their parents when immigrant families are caught crossing the US-Mexico border illegally. And it's unclear if Trump's backing will help the compromise legislation that GOP leaders negotiated with moderate Republicans.

The "zero tolerance" policy put into place last month moves adults to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service and sends many children to facilities run by the Department of Health and Human Services. "There are workable alternatives", president Richard Cohen said in a statement.

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A spokesman has said that the Health and Human Services Department is paying up to $775 a day per child to house some migrant children. "We can not and will not encourage people to bring children by giving them blanket immunity from our laws", he said. Southwest echoed the sentiment, saying, "We are a company founded on love, and we want to connect people to what's important in their lives, not disconnect them". This is where the family separation comes in.

Ryan told reporters he prefers to see parents and children detained together in custody, as the GOP bills would codify into law.

"We're going to be signing an executive order".

Even if Republicans manage to pass one of the immigration bills through the House, it is all but certain to fizzle in the Senate, where Republicans are rallying behind a different approach. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and others that would allow detained families to stay together in custody while expediting their hearings and possible deportation proceedings.

Playrooms of crying preschool-age children in crisis were described by lawyers and medical providers who visited the Rio Grande Valley shelters. The shelters follow strict procedures surrounding who can gain access to the children in order to protect their safety, but that means information about their welfare can be limited.

"We do not want children taken away from their parents", he said. Under the Obama administration, such families were usually referred for civil deportation proceedings, not requiring separation.

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He said he was looking into whether the court could block deportation of parents until they have been reunited with their children, and whether it could force the Trump administration to reunite those separated.