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20.06.2018 18:13 News >> Us: House To Vote On Ending Family Separations

Us: House To Vote On Ending Family Separations

'We can enforce our immigration laws without breaking families apart,' House Speaker Paul Ryan says.

The House of Representatives will vote this week on legislation that would end the Trump administration's practice of separating undocumented families who are apprehended by immigration officials, Speaker Paul Ryan said Wednesday.

"We do not want children taken away from their parents," Ryan said. "We can enforce our immigration laws without breaking families apart. The administration says it wants Congress to act and we are."

The vote will take place Thursday, according to Ryan.

President Donald Trump's "zero tolerance" policy refers all undocumented adults for criminal prosecution, a break with past administrations who limited criminal referral for most adults who illegally cross into the U.S. with their juvenile family members. The children, who are not charged with a crime, are separated as a result of their parents' criminal case. As a matter of regulation, they are not allowed to be detained with their parents during legal proceedings.

The practice has stirred outrage, including among members of Trump's party who are urging the president to change course on humanitarian grounds.

Several state governors, including Republicans, have pulled back or halted National Guard deployments meant to bolster Trump's border security efforts in an effort to have him reconsider the policy.

Some senior officials have sought to stave off the backlash, putting the onus on lawmakers while denying any responsibility lies with the administration.

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen denied the separations are an administration policy during a series of public defenses, and further scoffed at the suggestion that the administration is trying to send a message with its separation of families, saying: "I find that offensive. No, because why would I ever create a policy that purposely does that?"

In May, however, Trump's chief of staff, John Kelly, explicitly said the policy would serve as a deterrent.

"It could be a tough deterrent — would be a tough deterrent. A much faster turnaround on asylum seekers," Kelly told National Public Radio during a controversial interview in which he argued that undocumented migrants would not be able to easily assimilate into American society because "they don't have skills."

Nielsen was publicly heckled in Washington on Tuesday evening by political activists as some of Nielsen's fellow diners cheered on the protesters.

Ryan, who met with Trump along with other House Republicans on Tuesday, said Trump asked for the legislation to be crafted.

It will allow "families to remain together under DHS [Department of Homeland Security] custody throughout the length of their legal proceedings," Ryan said. The legislations further boosts DHS funding to bolster its ability to house and care for families, he said. -



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