Howls of outrage from decent Americans of all political stripes forced President Donald Trump to back down from the humanitarian horror he was deliberately inflicting on thousands of immigrant children and parents.

The anguish of witnessing wailing toddlers will, we hope, slowly subside. The stench of falsehood from an administration that has proven it can never be trusted will linger.

Just days — no, hours — ago, the president and his minions said, and said, and said again, that only Congress could stop thousands of children from being torn from their mothers and fathers. Democrats, specifically, were to blame.

The reversal exposed the truth: Trump, his Justice Department and his Homeland Security Department were fighting an immoral war of choice. They crafted this policy to deter families from coming to the United States, whether aiming to illegally cross the border or legitimately seek asylum.

Which meant pulling apart children and parents by the thousands.

Trump now reverses the cruelest tool while keeping in place “zero tolerance” prosecutions.

After breathing a sigh of relief, swallow hard, because that means the administration will now thrust countless families into detention together, where they will stay for who knows how long while the Department of Justice expedites court proceedings, in the words of the order, “to the extent practicable.”

A 1997 court ruling strictly — and understandably — limits government’s ability to keep children locked up, with or without their parents. The Trump administration knows that.

It falls meanwhile to the president to put back together what his administration has so coldly torn asunder. Staff a team to reunite every single child and parent. The burden must not fall on individuals to navigate a mind-numbing bureaucracy, often from a detention facility or foreign country, with limited access to a telephone.

Our government must reunite devastated families. Now.

Editorial by the New York Daily News

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