President Trump has signed an executive order to keep families together after they're caught crossing the U.S.-Mexico border illegally rather than separating the children from their parents.
As his critics have pointed the finger of blame at him for enforcing existing rules, Trump has called on Congress to fix loopholes in the 2008 law passed by a Democrat-controlled Legislature. But as liberals have stirred up international outrage this week, calling Trump a "child abuser" and "kidnapper" and outrageously comparing illegal alien holding facilities to Nazi concentration camps, the president has decided to take immediate action while he waits for Congress to agree on a solution.
The executive order, as released by the White House, emphasizes that immigration laws are being upheld but that "it is also the policy of this Administration to maintain family unity, including by detaining alien families together where appropriate and consistent with law and available resources."
The order does include a caveat, though, for the protection of alien children. It states that the Secretary of Homeland Security "shall not, however, detain an alien family together when there is a concern that detention of an alien child with the child’s alien parent would pose a risk to the child’s welfare."
As for the care of families that are being kept together, "The Secretary of Defense shall take all legally available measures to provide to the Secretary, upon request, any existing facilities available for the housing and care of alien families, and shall construct such facilities if necessary and consistent with law."
"It's about keeping families together, while at the same time, making sure we have a very powerful, very strong border," the president said the signing ceremony. "Border security will be equal, if not greater, than previously."
"I didn't like the sight or the feeling of families being separated," he continued. "It's a problem that's gone on for many years, as you know, for many administrations. We're working very hard on immigration. It's been left out in the cold. People haven't dealt with it, and we are dealing with it."
"So we're keeping families together," he added. "This will solve that problem. At the same time, we are keeping a very powerful border, and there continues to be a 'zero tolerance' [policy]. We have zero tolerance for people that enter our country illegally."
The president's decision drew immediate praise from his daughter, Ivanka.
She wrote on Twitter, "Thank you @POTUS for taking critical action ending family separation at our border. Congress must now act + find a lasting solution that is consistent with our shared values; the same values that so many come here seeking as they endeavor to create a better life for their families."