US President Donald Trump, under mounting political pressure from angry members of his own party, signed an executive order Wednesday reversing his administration's policy of separating children from their parents at the border and allowing families to instead be detained together.
"It's about keeping families together while ensuring we have a powerful border," Trump said.
Trump said the order "will solve that problem" of children being separated from their parents, but that it wouldn't end his administration's "zero tolerance" policy of charging everyone who attempts to cross the U.S.-Mexico border illegally. The practice has led to thousands of migrant children, some under a year old, being split from their parents or legal guardians and housed in detention centers.
"I didn't like the sight or the feeling of families being separated," Trump said.
The executive order won't stop the detention of children — or Trump's "zero tolerance" policy of charging people with a misdemeanor for entering the country illegally — but will allow them to be held with their parents pending "any criminal improper entry or immigration proceedings involving their members."
The order marks an abrupt about-face for the president, who said as recently as Friday that when it came to keeping migrant families together, "you can't do it through executive order." He had faced extraordinary pressure from Capitol Hill, even from some of his closest GOP allies, as well as from members of his own family, to end his administration's policy of separating children from parents who cross the US-Mexico border illegally.
Source: NBC News
BDST: 1020 HRS, JUN 21, 2018