President Trump is signing an executive order regarding the administration's "zero tolerance" policy amid nationwide outcry for the Trump White House to roll back the practice of family separation at the US border.
He said: 'I'm going to be signing an executive order in a little while before I go to Minnesota but, at the same time, I think you have to understand, we're keeping families together, but we have to keep our borders strong.
Trump signed the executive order following widespread protests against the move of his administration to separate children from their parents who illegally enter the country.
CBS News' Paula Reid reports that order is not expected to reverse the policy on prosecuting all illegal border crossings, but it is expected to allow families to be held together during the process of prosecution and deportation.
Republican leaders in the House are now trying to put together an immigration bill that will keep immigrant children in detention indefinitely, but housed with their parents.
The 1997 court-ordered settlement in the case of Flores v. Meese, which required the government work to release immigrant children to the custody of a relative or a foster program, also mandates that children be housed in the "least restrictive" setting.
According to the US Government, over 2,300 children were separated from their parents at the US-Mexico border between May 5 and June 9.
Peter Schey, class-appointed counsel in the Flores case, said Wednesday there was nothing in the agreement that prevents Homeland Security officials from detaining children with their parents, "as long as the conditions of detention are humane and the child remains eligible for release, unless the child is a flight risk, or a danger to herself or others, or the child's parent does not wish the child to be released". "Reunification is always the ultimate goal of those entrusted with the care of [unaccompanied children], and the administration is working towards that for those [unaccompanied children] now in HHS custody". Yet his executive order will surely face a legal challenge, since the left won't rest until it forces him to end his "zero tolerance" policy. It also calls for prioritising immigration cases involving detained families.
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He is, in effect, ordering family separation to be replaced with the detention of whole families together, even after earlier arguing that "you can't do it by executive order".
Homeland Security Secretary Nielsen traveled to Capitol Hill Wednesday afternoon to brief lawmakers. Children can't be jailed with their parents.
In recent weeks, more than 2,500 such children were separated from their parents.
Speaker Paul Ryan told reporters that the House would vote on Thursday (local time) on new Republican immigration bills. It is unfortunate that Congress's failure to act and court orders have put the Administration in the position of separating alien families to effectively enforce the law.
The House plans to vote on two bills created to halt the practice of separating families entering the United States illegally and address a range of other immigration issues.
"As the son of a Polish holocaust survivor, the images and sounds of this family separation policy is heart wrenching".
British Prime Minister Theresa May, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the Council of Europe and Pope Francis all took issue with the "zero tolerance" policy.
"ICE is committed to connecting family members as quickly as possible after separation so that parents know the location of their children", the spokesperson added. Pelosi said using terrified small children as "leverage" to push the President's anti-immigrant agenda represents an "unspeakably appalling moral low-point for our nation".