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Chorus of criticism continues against the U.S. despite reversal of border policy

Click to play video: 'U.S. treatment of migrant families sparks criticism across Canada' U.S. treatment of migrant families sparks criticism across Canada
WATCH: U.S. President Donald Trump has signed an executive order to stop separating children from their parents as they cross the border – but trying to reunite the families torn apart will not be easy. As Global's Tim Sargeant reports, the criticism of the White House policy from around the world and here in Canada continues – Jun 20, 2018

An online petition created by Amnesty International Canada denouncing the White House policy of separating families of migrants will remain open and active according to its director general.

The petition calls on lawmakers to end the separate detention of parents and children. In some cases, the family members can be thousands of kilometres apart with little way of determining how to unite them.

“We encourage citizens in Canada to sign it so we can raise one big voice to denounce this absolutely horrific policy,” Geneviève Paul, director general of Amnistie Internationale Canada francophone, told reporters Wednesday morning.

President Trump reversed his unpopular policy and signed an executive order Wednesday afternoon calling for parents and children to be detained together as they sought asylum at U.S. border crossings with Mexico.

READ MORE: Donald Trump signs order to keep migrant families together while in detention

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But the fact that this policy has been a staple of Trump’s “zero tolerance” stance on immigration has drawn indignation from leaders around the world, including Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

“What’s going on in the United States is wrong. I can’t imagine what the families living through this are enduring,” Trudeau told reporters inside the House of Commons.

READ MORE: B.C. premier adds to voices bashing U.S. policy to separate asylum seeking families

Canada has also been criticized for separating asylum seeking parents and children.

But it’s not done in mass numbers or as overtly or as cruelly as in the U.S., according to one child psychiatrist.

Still the separation of family members can be lead to lasting effects on children.

“This affects the development of children’s brains. And can leave them with emotional and psychological problems for the long term,” Dr. Rachel Kronick from McGill University told Global News.

The psychiatrist says the prime minister is planning to issue a ministerial decree to end the practice, which she considers a good first step.

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