Trump signs executive order: 'I didn't like the sight...of families being separated'

President Trump signed an executive order intended to keep families together while the parent’s claim for asylum are adjudicated. With VP Pence and DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen on either side of him Trump said, “It’s about keeping families together while at the same time being sure that we have a very powerful, very strong border.” “I didn’t like the sight or the feeling of families being separated,” Trump said. Both VP Pence and Secretary Nielsen spoke briefly and called on Congress to act to change the law.

Evidence that the EO was put together somewhat hastily could be found in the misspelling of “seperation” in its title. That was quickly corrected. However, there’s still some question how the new EO will mesh with a court settlement which only allows children to be detained for 20 days. From the NY Times:

Mr. Trump’s executive order directed the government’s lawyers to ask for a modification of an existing 1997 consent decree, known as the Flores settlement, that currently prohibits the federal government from keeping children in immigration detention — even if they are with their parents — for more than 20 days.

But it is unclear whether the court will agree to that request. If not, the president is likely to face an immediate legal challenge from immigration activists on behalf of families that are detained in makeshift facilities…

Aides said that Mr. Trump is aware that his actions could once again be tied up in lengthy court battles. But the president and his allies believe that taking action would put pressure on Democrats by eliminating the criticism that Mr. Trump is separating children from their parents.

So it sounds as if we’re likely to see a repeat of the court challenges we’ve seen over Trump’s previous executive orders on immigration. In the meantime, we could be returning to a catch-and-release approach, at least when it comes to families.

Sen. Kamala Harris appears to be on the same page, i.e. we can’t put the kids in jail so we’ll have to release everyone:

Meanwhile, Speaker Paul Ryan has said there will be a vote on a bill to address the issue tomorrow, but it’s not clear whether Democrats in the Senate are prepared to go along with a Republican fix. At this point, it seems Democrats are more likely to get their way and have a nice political issue to run on this fall by simply refusing to do anything. Move On has already called for its supporters to ramp up the pressure in the wake of the signing of the EO. After all, if the public outrage is working, why would Democrats want to interrupt it with a solution?

Here’s the announcement and the signing:

David Strom 6:41 PM on September 26, 2022