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World News

'This should never have happened': Christian charity welcomes Trump migration U-turn

by Press Association

Christian children's charity World Vision has welcomed a u-turn from US President Donald Trump who has an executive order ending the process of separating children from families after they are detained crossing the US border illegally.

It was a dramatic turnaround for Mr Trump, who has been insisting, wrongly, that his administration had no choice but to separate families apprehended at the border because of federal law and a court decision.

The news in recent days has been dominated by searing images of children held in cages at border facilities, as well as audio recordings of young children crying for their parents.

The images sparked fury, questions of morality and concern from Republicans about a negative impact on their races in November's midterm elections.

Until Wednesday, the president, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and other officials had repeatedly argued the only way to end the practice was for Congress to pass new legislation, while Democrats said he could do it with his signature alone.

That was what he did on Wednesday.

"We're going to have strong, very strong borders, but we're going to keep the families together," said Mr Trump who said he did not like the "sight" or "feeling" of children separated from their parents.

He said his order would not end the "zero-tolerance" policy that criminally prosecutes all adults caught crossing the border illegally.

The order aims to keep families together while they are in custody, expedite their cases, and ask the Department of Defence to help house families.

Welcoming the news, Richard Stearns, President of World Vision US said: "I am encouraged to see Congress and the President working to bring a compassionate response that keeps families and children together.

"This should never have happened. Parents protect and comfort their children and help them make sense of difficult and frightening events.

"We hope the swift political will and the coming together of all parties extends to reuniting families and supporting the children who have already been impacted."

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