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CHICAGO/DALLAS: June 20, 2018. On World Refugee Day, United Airlines and American Airlines have asked the US government to stop using their aircraft to separate immigrant children from their parents who arrive at US borders.

By midday today, Donald Trump and his head of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen had capitulated to public outrage with Trump signing an executive order reversing his administration’s policy that has seen over 2,300 children separated from their parents since April this year and housed indefinitely in makeshift US detention centres.

United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz declared: "At United Airlines, we have been concerned about reports that commercial airlines have been used to transport immigrant children separated from their parents by a newly implemented immigration enforcement policy.

"Based on our serious concerns about this policy and how it's in deep conflict with our company's values, we have contacted federal officials to inform them that they should not transport immigrant children on United aircraft who have been separated from their parents.

Trump cages children"Our company's shared purpose is to connect people and unite the world. This policy and its impact on thousands of children is in deep conflict with that mission and we want no part of it," he added.

A statement from American Airlines said: “The family separation process that has been widely publicized is not at all aligned with the values of American Airlines — we bring families together, not apart.

“American, like many U.S. airlines, provides travel to the federal government through contracts; however, the government does not disclose information about the nature of the flights it takes or the passengers who are traveling.

“While we have carried refugees for non-profits and the government, many of whom are being reunited with family or friends, we have no knowledge that the federal government has used American to transport children who have been separated from their parents due to the recent immigration policy, but we would be extremely disappointed to learn that is the case.

“We have therefore requested the federal government to immediately refrain from using American for the purpose of transporting children who have been separated from their families due to the current immigration policy.

“We have no desire to be associated with separating families, or worse, to profit from it. We have every expectation the government will comply with our request and we thank them for doing so.”

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