U.S. President Donald Trump has signed an executive order ending his policy of taking migrant children away from their parents at the border.
Trump, while signing the order said: “We want security for our country. The Republicans want security, and insist on security for our country, and we will have that and keep families together.
“It’s very important. I’ll be signing something in a little while that’s going to do that”.
The president’s change of heart came after week of insistence that: “We can’t do it through an executive order” adding only Congress could put an end to his policy.
The order would expand the time that minors could be held in custody, which would allow families to remain together.
The president acknowledged that images of detained children made it difficult to maintain his policy in the face of mounting international criticism.
“Those images affect everybody. But I have to say, you have double standards.
“You have people that want absolute security and safety, and you have people that do look at the children and then you have people like me, and I think most of the people in this room, that want both,” he said.
The president, during a meeting with top Republican lawmakers and other officials, accused Democrats for advocating for open borders warning that the U.S. would be “overrun” by “millions of people.”
“They would like to have open borders where anybody in the world can just flow in, including from the Middle East, from anybody, anywhere, they can just flow into our country.
“Tremendous problems with that. Tremendous crime caused by that.
“We don’t want people coming in from the Middle East through our border using children to get through the line. We don’t want that,” he said.
The president also accused human traffickers of using children as a free pass to enter the country.
“They’re using their children and always they’re using the children as a ticket to getting into the country. We have to remember that.
“There’s a number of the 12,000 children, 2,000 are with the parents, and 10,000 came up with some really horrible people in some cases.
“You have the coyotes, you have the traffickers, the human traffickers, not only drug traffickers, but the human traffickers.
“They use these children as passports to get into the country. So we have to work on that, too.”
He also blamed his predecessors in the office for not fixing the nation’s immigration system.
“This has been going on for 50 years, longer. This has been going on under President Obama, under President (George W.) Bush.
“This has been going on for many, many years. We’ll see if we can solve it. This is not something that happened just now,” he said.
Trump has said in the past that he would back either of two House bills that would also extend the time that immigrant children can be held after they cross the border illegally with their parents. (NAN)