Trump signs executive order to keep migrant families together

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President Donald Trump listens during a meeting with Republican members of Congress on immigration in the Cabinet Room of the White House, Wednesday, June 20, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

It’s a major reversal from the White House that could resolve an immigration crisis on the U.S.-Mexico border. President Trump has signed an executive order backing off a controversial policy that separated migrant children from their parents.

CGTN’s Nitza Perez visited a shelter that helps immigrants just released from detention centers.

They know it’s a risky gamble, and crossing illegally into the U.S. is dangerous. However, these families never expected to be separated.

“First, they took me to the jail. I was there for a few hours, then I was transferred to another place. There they told me that I must stay in one area with my four-year-old, but my boy had to go to another area and my older girl as well, said Magda, and an undocumented immigrant.

Magda explained how the immigrant women were terrified.

“Many of them had seen their children taken away from them. There was one kid there that had not seen her mother in five days,” she explained.

Magda asked CGTN not to reveal her last name. The Guatemalan mother came into the U.S with her three children hoping to escape gang extortion. Her children are aged 16, 13 and four. She feared losing them if she stayed.

Facing mounting pressure, U.S. President Donald Trump signed an order ending family separations.

“We’re going to have strong — very strong borders, but we’re going to keep the families together. I didn’t like the sight or the feeling of families being separated.”

Some 2,300 children have already been forcibly taken from their parents since the implementation of this zero-tolerance policy over the past two months.

The dramatic turn of events was well-received within the immigrant community and those who help them.

“It’s good, but I don’t think it’s the only answer that we need. We need to help these families find a solution, a humane solution,” said Sister Norma Pimentel, Director of Catholic Charities at Rio Grande Valley.

“Detention is not an answer, separation of families is not an answer, we must find ways that these families are safe and protected and help stabilize this country so these families don’t have to be exposed to so much hardship.” 

Magda was happy when she heard the news.

 “These are good news for the Hispanic community, because no one, has the right to separate children from their parents, seeing so many kids crying and asking for their moms, was simply unfair,” she said.

Magda and her children will head to Virginia, where a civil court will process her case.