Amid public outcry over the thousands of migrant children separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border, President Donald Trump signed an executive order to keep families together. Here’s a wrap-up of everything that led to this moment.
After losing his wife and infant daughter on the perilous journey from Guatemala to the U.S.-Mexico border, Lester Morales thought he’d be safe when he got to U.S. soil.
Then he got more bad news: His 3-year-old son, Jose Fernando, probably would be temporarily taken away from him as well as the result of a new U.S. policy.
“I didn’t know,” Morales said Tuesday after crossing the Rio Grande to enter the U.S. “We left so that my family could be safe. Not this.”
Hundreds of immigrant parents like Morales are crossing into the U.S. without proper authorization unaware that the process to seek asylum now also includes temporary loss of their children.
Last month, the Trump administration enacted its "zero tolerance” policy, under which nearly everyone crossing the border without authorization is charged with a federal misdemeanor. Under law, children entering the USA alongside adults fall under the Office of Refugee Resettlement's care while those criminal cases are pursued.
More than 2,300 children have been separated from their parents at the border as a result of the policy, creating a deepening crisis for the government on how to care for the children.
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