This week, the outrage over migrant children the Trump administration has been separating from their parents reached a crescendo. City leaders were alarmed to learn of shelters housing these children in their midst. Some came out in opposition. Others traveled to the “tent city” set up near the border to survey the situation there. Meanwhile, activists planned nationwide protests in cities across the country.
On Wednesday, President Donald Trump signed an executive order that was billed as an attempt to end the practice of family separation. In reality, it didn’t do much to ensure that outcome. It did not take back the policy that triggered the crisis; it did not lay out a plan to reunite the families. Instead, its language signaled an intent for entire families to be detained together in the future, likely, for extended periods of time—setting the stage for significant logistical and legal challenges.