President Donald Trump announced today that he would be signing an executive order "to keep families together." He also stressed that "we still have to maintain toughness in our country" and talked about the importance of "strong borders." The move comes amid outrage over reports of immigrant children being permanently separated from their parents and sent to separate detention facilities.
Trump said that he would sign the executive order before he left for Minnesota later today.
Here's what you need to know
In a televised roundtable with members of Congress, Senators and members of his adminstration, Trump announced: "we're going to be signing an executive order. we're going to keep families together, but we still have to maintain toughness or our country is going to be overrun."
Trump called the executive order "somewhat preemptive," added that it "ultimately will be matched by legislation, I'm sure." Trump blamed Democrats for the lack of current legislation sto address this issue.
When asked specifically about the images of children being taken from their parents at immigration centers, Trump said that the images affected him. "Those images affect everybody, but i have to say we have a double standard." He also pointed out that some of the images of children being detained dated back to 2014, when Barack Obama was president, and claimed that the situation in 2014 "blew away what's happening now."
The policy of separating children from their parents who have illegally entered the U.S. and been detained had existed for years before President Donald Trump took office. However, the Trump administration's zero tolerance policy of prosecuting all illegal border crossings has caused an increased number of these separations.
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen reportedly drafted an executive action and took it to the White House, which would instruct the Department of Homeland Security to keep families together. The AP cited two people with knowledge of the situation, but who only spoke under the condition that they would remain anonymous.
In a separate report, Fox News said that Trump was considering signing an executive action that would allow children to stay with their parents. It is not clear if this is the same action that Nielsen drafted.
EXCLUSIVE: @realDonaldTrump considering some sort of executive action today to allow children to stay with detained parents through immigration adjudication process. Sources say Admin believes it is likely to draw a court challenge on the basis of Flores v Reno
— John Roberts (@johnrobertsFox) June 20, 2018
President Trump also tweeted at 10:41 A.M. ET on Wednesday that the situation was “Democrats['] fault,” but that he was “working on something.”
It’s the Democrats fault, they won’t give us the votes needed to pass good immigration legislation. They want open borders, which breeds horrible crime. Republicans want security. But I am working on something - it never ends!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 20, 2018
Addressing pool reporters on Wednesday, President Trump said: “I’ll be signing something in a little while that’s going to do that.”
This is a developing story and will be updated.