The Melania Effect? Trump Signs Executive Order Keeping Families Together At Mexico Border

| June 21 , 2018 , 11:07 IST

US President Donald Trump on Wednesday announced that he would be signing an executive order to stop the controversial separation of families at the Mexico border, attempting to illegally migrate to the US.

"We're signing an executive order. I consider it to be a very important executive order. It's about keeping families together, while at the same time being sure we have a very powerful, very strong border," Trump said.

"The border is just as tough. But we do want to keep families together," the US President said in the Oval Office.

The announcement from Trump came days after First Lady Melania Trump, who rarely speaks on policy issues, added her voice to the global condemnation of the separation of the families at the border.

"Mrs. Trump hates to see children separated from their families and hopes both sides of the aisle can finally come together to achieve successful immigration reform," the spokeswoman of the First Lady said on June 17.

The new Trump administration policy, announced on May 7 charged every adult caught crossing the Mexico border illegally with federal crimes, as a result of which, if the adult has any children/wards, the children would be separated from the parents and placed into holding facilities.

From April 19 to May 31 of this year, nearly 2,000 children have been separated from their parents, the Department of Homeland Security spokesperson said. Painful images of crying children, as young as 4 years old, being torn from the arms of their parents, resulted in massive condemnation for Trump's new policy. Everyone from the UN Human Rights Council, to the Pope, to former First Ladys of the US and world leaders slammed the forceful separation of parents from their children.

Despite widespread criticism, Trump defended the policy, saying that the shock and risk of separation of families would serve as a strong deterrent for illegal immigrants.