“Anybody with a heart would feel very strongly about it, we don’t like to see families separated. At the same time, we don’t want people coming into our country illegally. This takes care of the problem.”
Under pressure from his own political party, family members and public opinion, President Trump signed an executive order that desists in separating families at the border as a result of his zero-tolerance policy against illegal immigration.
This change goes against what he and Homeland Security President Kristjen Nielsen have been saying all week that only Congress could stop the problem by passing new legislation.
"It's the Democrats fault," he tweeted on Wednesday. "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!"
But Democratic leaders argued that charge by insisting the president could make the change himself with a single signature, which is what he did on Wednesday.
"We're going to have strong, very strong borders, but we're going to keep the families together," Trump said to reporters from the Oval Office after signing the order, adding that he didn’t like the sight of kids without their families.
The media has been inundated with stories and images all week of children crying as they were taken from their mothers and fathers and held in chain-link enclosures with only a survival blanket, a small mat, and bottles of water.
During the Obama administration a similar crackdown on illegal immigration was also put into place, however, families were allowed to stay together and go through civil deportation proceedings.
The president’s executive order does not reverse his zero-tolerance policy. He says this order will work two-fold.
“Anybody with a heart would feel very strongly about it, we don’t like to see families separated," he said to reporters after signing. "At the same time, we don’t want people coming into our country illegally. This takes care of the problem.”