After days of falsely claiming that only Congress could end his administration’s controversial practice of separating children from their parents who illegally cross the southern border, President Trump on Wednesday announced that he will be signing “something” today to end the universally condemned policy.
“I’ll be signing something in a little while that’s going to do that,” Trump told reporters at the White House. “I’ll be doing something that’s somewhat preemptive and ultimately will be matched by legislation I’m sure.”
WATCH: President Trump says he will sign an executive order soon: "We have compassion. We want to keep families together." pic.twitter.com/dP2Y8rDyg2
— NBC News (@NBCNews) June 20, 2018
According to CNBC, Trump is expected to sign an executive order that would allow families to be housed together even while adults in the family are being detained or prosecuted for crossing the U.S. border illegally or for seeking asylum at the border outside of a designated border entry point.
The president and his top aides have insisted for days that only Congress could halt family separations at the border which he falsely blamed Democrats for.
Trump said during a speech on Tuesday that congressional action is the “only solution to the border crisis.”
“We have to stop child smuggling. This is the way to do it,” he said.
On Friday, Trump blamed Democrats for a policy enacted and touted by his own administration.
“The Democrats are forcing the breakup of families at the Border with their horrible and cruel legislative agenda,” Trump tweeted.
After listing his demands in any immigration bill, he added “Go for it! WIN!”
The Democrats are forcing the breakup of families at the Border with their horrible and cruel legislative agenda. Any Immigration Bill MUST HAVE full funding for the Wall, end Catch & Release, Visa Lottery and Chain, and go to Merit Based Immigration. Go for it! WIN!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 15, 2018
The Associated Press reported that Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was drafting an executive action for Trump that would direct the Department of Homeland Security to keep families together in detention while they await hearings before immigration judges.
At least 2,000 children have been separated from their parents under the Trump administration’s new “zero tolerance” policy, under which every adult detained at the border is immediately taken into custody for prosecution.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has warned that Trump’s policy is causing children “irreparable harm.”
The Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, who delivered a prayer at Trump’s inauguration, signed a letter calling the practice “horrible.”
Pastor Franklin Graham, a vocal supporter of the president’s, called it “terrible” and “disgraceful.”