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White House chaos over immigration reversal

President Trump's administration is scrambling to contain the fallout and confusion over the executive order that changes their own policy of separating undocumented immigrant families at the US-Mexico border. CNN's Boris Sanchez reports.

Posted: Jun 22, 2018 1:30 PM
Updated: Jun 22, 2018 1:32 PM

President Donald Trump continued to mislead about the origin of the humanitarian crisis on the US border on Thursday, a day after caving to political pressure on the issue.

Loath to appear weak on immigration and borders, Trump continued alleging Democrats were to blame for the catastrophe, which he had sought to reverse a day earlier with an executive order.

The President was not required to sign anything to change the administration's practice that elicited outrage. He could have reversed the practice of splitting children from their parents with a phone call. As it stands, the hastily written order is mired in confusion, with little clarity on how families will be reunited.

Trump mentioned that act only in passing on Thursday, returning instead to his misleading and sharp rhetoric blaming political opponents for what he claimed were the weakest immigration laws in the world.

"They don't care about the children. They don't care about the injury," he said of Democrats during a meeting of his Cabinet at the White House. "They don't care about the problems. They don't care about anything."

Claiming his opponents refuse to approve new funds for detention facilities for children -- "Let's run the most luxurious hotel in the world for everybody -- but they don't want to give us the money," he said -- Trump insisted that conditions at some of the centers were "the nicest that people have seen."

"They talk about inhumane treatment. I read them. I looked at them. They're all over the place," Trump said during a lengthy and at times disjointed opening statement. "We have a situation where some of these places, they're really running them well."

As he spoke, Trump's wife Melania was arriving at the southern border to tour a detention facility and speak with officials. She offered a softer image of the administration's immigration stance, greeting children and asking how she could help.

"I also like to ask you how I can help to be sure these children reunite with their families as quickly as possible?" she asked an official at the Texas facility, before inquiring about the physical and mental state of the children when they arrived.

Later, she told some of the children to be nice to one another as she visited their living quarters.

Whether those children will be reunited with their parents following Trump's executive order remains to be seen. At the White House, Trump conceded that the document he signed on Wednesday was limited in its scope.

"Democrat and court-ordered loopholes prevent family detention and lead to family separation, no matter how you cut it," the President said. "I signed a very good executive order yesterday, but that's only limited. No matter how you cut it it leads to separation, ultimately."

The document the President signed was assembled hastily and government agencies scrambled late Wednesday and Thursday to assess its implications. Initially, the government said the 2,300 children currently separated from their parents would remain so; later, officials clarified the children would be reunited with family members.

The order directed other agencies, including the Pentagon, to take steps to find places to house family units and specifies that migrants entering the US with children will not be kept together if there's a fear for the child's welfare. Families will also be prioritized in the adjudication process.

Even so, the move is almost certain to face immediate legal action challenging the administration's authority to keep families detained at length.

Trump's remarks on Thursday reflected his continued frustration on the immigration issue, which was a touchstone of his campaign. He has remained intent on fulfilling his promises, including building a border wall. But he's struggled to gain funding approval from Congress.

Lawmakers postponed a vote expected on Thursday for a bill that would include funding for the wall along with end the family separation practice.

In his remarks, Trump vented at Mexico for doing little to curb the flow of migrants.

"They walk through Mexico like it's walking through Central Park. It's ridiculous," he said.

And he said some of the children coming to the US are arriving with "coyotes" and human traffickers, blaming "the Democrat-supported policies" for allowing it to happen.

"We're getting some real beauties," he said with sarcastic chagrin.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 725353

Reported Deaths: 13373
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion990831737
Lake53265963
Allen40302675
Hamilton35392408
St. Joseph35350550
Elkhart28304438
Tippecanoe22315217
Vanderburgh22252396
Porter18596306
Johnson17856376
Hendricks17121313
Clark12908191
Madison12549339
Vigo12400244
Monroe11827168
LaPorte11736210
Delaware10595185
Howard9837215
Kosciusko9358117
Hancock8225140
Bartholomew8038155
Warrick7761155
Floyd7636177
Wayne7007199
Grant7003174
Boone6660101
Morgan6543139
Dubois6143117
Marshall5973111
Dearborn577977
Cass5777105
Henry5675102
Noble556583
Jackson500172
Shelby488596
Lawrence4482120
Gibson434191
Harrison433071
Clinton426653
DeKalb424184
Montgomery423188
Whitley393739
Huntington386980
Steuben381857
Miami379766
Knox371190
Jasper362147
Putnam358260
Wabash352578
Adams340554
Ripley338670
Jefferson328881
White312554
Daviess295499
Wells290481
Decatur283392
Fayette278462
Greene276285
Posey270733
Scott264553
LaGrange264270
Clay258645
Randolph239781
Washington239332
Spencer230831
Jennings229048
Starke213852
Fountain211846
Sullivan210942
Owen196356
Fulton194240
Jay190930
Carroll187820
Perry182537
Orange182154
Rush172725
Vermillion167843
Franklin167235
Tipton161945
Parke145616
Blackford134332
Pike132834
Pulaski116045
Newton107034
Brown101441
Crawford99114
Benton98114
Martin87515
Warren80915
Switzerland7828
Union70610
Ohio56211
Unassigned0413

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1078734

Reported Deaths: 19344
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1253471392
Cuyahoga1113202107
Hamilton797471200
Montgomery512091012
Summit46916933
Lucas41890782
Butler38250580
Stark32150907
Lorain24874480
Warren24236297
Mahoning21439586
Lake20548368
Clermont19719238
Delaware18478131
Licking16384210
Fairfield16116199
Trumbull15974466
Medina15213262
Greene15013244
Clark13942297
Wood13038188
Portage12792201
Allen11590231
Richland11300198
Miami10656215
Muskingum8787132
Wayne8760210
Columbiana8743229
Pickaway8540121
Marion8502135
Tuscarawas8461243
Erie7840154
Hancock6884126
Ross6830152
Ashtabula6765169
Geauga6664148
Scioto6393101
Belmont5837167
Union569647
Lawrence5542102
Jefferson5487151
Huron5419119
Darke5342122
Sandusky5322120
Seneca5258121
Athens518158
Washington5138109
Auglaize487884
Mercer479785
Shelby467693
Knox4477110
Madison435061
Putnam4263100
Ashland420989
Fulton420469
Defiance417797
Crawford3960106
Brown392457
Logan380976
Preble378498
Clinton369961
Ottawa366179
Highland353161
Williams337275
Champaign329658
Guernsey315353
Jackson311851
Perry294550
Morrow283739
Fayette281049
Hardin270164
Henry267966
Coshocton263958
Holmes2591101
Van Wert242663
Pike237333
Adams236552
Gallia235048
Wyandot230654
Hocking214862
Carroll191047
Paulding171740
Meigs144339
Noble133437
Monroe131242
Morgan108323
Harrison107437
Vinton82115
Unassigned02
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Shower and thunderstorm chances increase Thursday afternoon.
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