The federal government wrestled with the fallout Thursday over President Donald Trump’s move to stop separating immigrant families, with no clear plan to reunite the more than 2,300 children already taken from their parents and Congress again failing to take action on immigration reform.
Democratic mayors and other leaders traveled to the border to step up pressure on the White House over its hardline immigration policies, and the Justice Department went to court in attempt to overturn a decades-old court settlement that limits to 20 days the amount of time migrant children can be locked up with their families.
And in the Texas border city of McAllen, civil rights lawyer Efren Olivares said federal prosecutors unexpectedly dropped charges against 17 immigrants due to be sentenced for improperly entering the country — a claim the U.S. attorney’s office denied.
The confusion and uncertainty resulted from the abrupt ending Wednesday of a White House policy that separated more than 2,300 children from their parents over the past several weeks. The practice set off an outcry from all corners of the world, with the images and sounds of crying children dominating the news.
Asked Thursday whether his administration has abandoned its “zero tolerance” policy of prosecuting all adults caught illegally crossing the border, the president did not answer directly but showed no sign of softening.