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Airlines speak out against transportation of undocumented children separated from their family

Ingram Publishing/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Before President Trump signed an executive order Wednesday to reverse the administration's family separation policy, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) attacked several airlines that said they would not knowingly work with the federal government in cases of transporting children separated from their parents at the border.

DHS Press Secretary Tyler Q. Houlton lashed out on Twitter, accusing the airlines of "buckling to a false media narrative."

American Airlines acknowledged an existing contract with the federal government, but the airline said it does not know who the government flies nor their purpose for traveling.

"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," American Airlines said in a statement.

"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."

Southwest Airlines and United Airlines released similar responses. The carriers stated being unaware of any previous occurrences but asked the government to no longer use their flights to transport immigrant children.

"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," United CEO Oscar Munoz said.

Frontier Airlines also said they would not knowingly engage in transporting separated children.

Delta Airlines released a statement after the president signed the executive order.

The Georgia-based airline said "recent reports of families being separated are disheartening and do not align with Delta’s core values," but it's pleased with the executive order.

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