immigration

Updated at 5:18 p.m. ET

President Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday to end his controversial policy that has resulted in thousands of family separations and brought criticism from Democrats and Republicans.

"We're going to keep families together but we still have to maintain toughness or our country will be overrun by people, by crime, by all of the things that we don't stand for and that we don't want," Trump said Wednesday morning, when he announced that he would sign the order.

Trump administration officials have been sending babies and other young children forcibly separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border to at least three "tender age" shelters in South Texas, The Associated Press has learned.

A central Florida company has no comment about its contract to run a federal detention center for migrant children.

A recording of migrant children crying for their mothers and fathers has gripped the nation — and ratcheted up the debate over the Trump administration's policy of separating families at the border.

Jose Iglesias / WLRN News

US Senator Bill Nelson, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Florida State Rep. Kionne McGhee were denied entry to a facility in Homestead where an estimated 1,000 undocumented children are being held under the supervision of the Department of Health and Human Services.

Updated at 4:40 a.m. ET Wednesday

Since early May, 2,342 children have been separated from their parents after crossing the Southern U.S. border, according to the Department of Homeland Security, as part of a new immigration strategy by the Trump administration that has prompted widespread outcry.

On Wednesday, President Trump signed an executive order reversing his policy of separating families — and replacing it with a policy of detaining entire families together, including children, but ignoring legal time limits on the detention of minors.

Updated at 9:05 p.m. ET

President Trump told House Republicans that he will support them "1,000 percent" in their efforts to pass immigration legislation later this week. Republicans left the wide-ranging talk in the Capitol in good spirits but still unsure if they have the votes to pass a bill.

Updated at 1 p.m. ET

First ladies have a long history of advocating for issues important to them, often issues related to children. But what's unusual is to have all the living former presidents' wives speaking out in one voice.

America's current and former first ladies are pushing back against the Trump administration's practice of separating children from their parents at the border in an effort to curb illegal crossings.

Ellis Rua / Miami Herald

Lynsey Addario - NYT

Republicans from Miami-Dade on Monday condemned the Trump administration's decision to separate families crossing the southern border, with adults being sent to detention centers while their children are housed in cages and cry for their parents.

Kathleen Dubos / WLRN news

Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said Monday morning that she will fight the Trump administration's family separation policy.

Updated at 7:20 p.m. ET

House Republican leaders are reworking their "compromise" immigration bill to include a provision that modifies — but doesn't completely end — the "zero tolerance" policy being enforced now by the Trump administration.

Updated at 7:55 p.m. ET

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen is continuing to defend the Trump administration's controversial "zero tolerance" policy that results in separating children from their parents who enter the U.S. illegally.

Nielsen appeared at the White House press briefing on Monday, falsely blaming Democrats for the current crisis and arguing that the impetus is on Congress to pass a law to close legal loopholes.

Updated at 4:28 p.m. ET

The Trump administration's decision to separate children from their families as a way to curb illegal immigration is adding fuel to an already fiery debate over immigration.

A group of House Democrats converged on an immigration detention facility in New Jersey on Sunday, days before a planned vote by House Republicans next week. Meanwhile, Trump administration officials alternately took credit and sought to distance the administration from the family separation policy.

The Department of Homeland Security says 1,995 minors were separated from their "alleged adult guardians" at the southern border in just over a monthlong period.

A DHS spokesman said the separations occurred between April 19 and the end of May under the administration's relatively new "zero tolerance" policy, in which parents have also been arrested.

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