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Trump: Separating families may deter illegal entries

October 13, 2018

President Donald Trump said if migrant families fear they’ll be separated by the U.S. government, it may deter them from illegally crossing the border from Mexico, suggesting he’s reconsidering a policy abandoned in July after widespread public condemnation.

“We have people trying to come in like never before,” Trump told reporters as he departed the White House on Saturday for a campaign rally in Kentucky. “If they feel there will be separation, then they won’t come.”

“I want a lot of people to come in,” but they have to do so legally, Trump added.

The Washington Post reported on Friday that the White House was reconsidering a policy known as “zero tolerance” that caused nearly 3,000 children to be taken from their caregivers and placed in federal custody after they were apprehended crossing the border earlier this year.

Members of Congress of both parties criticized the policy, and the plight of the children – held in detention centers run by government contractors for weeks or months apart from their parents or guardians – caused broad outrage among the American public.

Trump issued an order in July to end the practice.

With assistance from Ryan Beene.

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