The order does not end the "zero-tolerance" policy that criminally prosecutes all adults caught crossing the border illegally.
Pictures and accounts of the separations sparked outrage and a rebellion among Republicans in Trump's own party, as well as worldwide accusation that the U.S. was committing human rights violations. It keeps families together while they are in custody, expedites their cases, and asks the Department of Defense to help house them.
The children are classified as unaccompanied minors, a legal term generally used for children who cross the border alone and have a possible sponsor in the USA willing to care for them. Melania Trump has had several private conversations with her husband, pushing him to do all he can to keep families at the border intact, whether via a legislative route, or acting alone to stop the process, the official said.
Trump's order also seeks to modify the terms of the latest settlement on the 1997 Flores case, which prohibits the government from keeping migrant children in detention for more than 20 days. "We are troubled that amid all the fanfare of Donald Trump's televised signing ceremony there was not a single mention of how the more than 2,000 children will be reunited with their families", it added. "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", it continues.
"That's the reality for so numerous families whose plights we see and heart-rending cries we hear". You can find out more information on that and on locally organized events right here.
At a news conference earlier Wednesday, House Speaker Paul Ryan said he remained hopeful that his chamber would pass a broader immigration bill Thursday that would include provisions aimed at ending the separations that have resulted from the "zero tolerance" policy. The language also leaves room to separate children from parents if it's best for the child's welfare.
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However it is not yet known for long they will be detained or where the immigrant families will be held after being taken to US Border Control facilities.
Under the order, entire immigrant families would be detained together by the Department of Homeland Security pending legal and court proceedings for the parents.
It was a dramatic turnaround for Trump, who has been insisting, wrongly, that his administration had no choice but to separate families apprehended at the border because of federal law and a court decision.
The Trump administration has been under increasing pressure from the public, religious leaders and Democrats in Congress, as well as most Republicans to end the practice of separating children from parents at border detention facilities.
The Republican-controlled U.S. Congress is also considering legislation to address the issue. "They really would like to have open borders where anybody in the world can just flow in, including the Middle East", said Trump. "It was barbaric to separate children from their parents".
The administration wants to keep children in custody with their parents indefinitely.
ORR has 100 sites scattered across 17 states, which means children can be on the other side of the country from their parents. They crossed the border on May 4 and presented themselves to border agents in San Ysidro, Calif.