Trump's action came shortly after House Republican leaders vowed to bring broader immigration legislation up for votes Thursday to address the crisis, despite widespread skepticism that a bill could pass. We are also going to count on Congress, obviously, but we are signing an executive order in a little while.
He suggests the order is a permanent solution. "Obviously we have to get 218 votes, and we're working hard to get there", Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the head of the House Republican Conference, told Fox News Channel.
Though the House is supposed to vote on immigration Thursday, a conservative leader within the GOP conference says the bill "is not ready for primetime".
On May 7, Sessions discussed the "zero-tolerance" policy for illegal entry on the southwest border.
Wednesday's move marked a rare instance since Trump took office in January 2017 in which he has changed course on a controversial policy, rather than digging in. The administration had separated at least 2,000 families in the past six weeks. The administration is not ending its "zero tolerance" approach to border prosecutions.
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Privately, officials in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) believe there is not enough capacity to hold families together because its facilities are already full.
In theory, the intent of the executive order is to keep children who have crossed the border with their parents while in custody. As of June 4, the total population of the facilities was around 2,600.
Not exactly. Because of a 1997 federal court decision known as the Flores settlement, the government can not hold children in custody for more than 20 days. It did so by eliminating the 20-day cap on holding minors and allowing indefinite detentions.
Trump's decision marks a major shift for his administration.
"Wow, this undermines getting undecided GOP members to support the compromise", Rep. Ryan Costello (R-Pa.) said on Twitter following Trump's tweet. Neither, though, did it require parents to be kept in detention, apart from their children.
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Trump's order also requests that the Defense Department make facilities available on military bases to house detained immigrant families or to construct new facilities. Very important. Were going to be signing an executive order.
Until Wednesday, Trump claimed that Congress had the sole authority to end the child separation policy - by passing new legislation. The administration wants to keep children in custody with their parents indefinitely.
The American Immigrant Representation Project is a partner of the larger Immigration Justice Campaign whose main mission is to fight for "due process and justice for detained immigrants". Protesters were galvanized to act after distressing photos and stories hit social media depicting children separated from their parents and sleeping in cages, crammed five in a room at repurposed Walmarts, or in so-called "tent cities" at costs reportedly exceeding what it would take to keep families together.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions is considering using DNA tests to verify the relationship between children and adults who illegally cross the border.
Trump appeared to have reached at deal a year ago with Schumer and Pelosi that would have addressed the dreamers situation, but the White House later backed off, insisting on harder-line positions than during a meeting with the Democratic leaders.
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