UPDATED AT 3:35 P.M. EST — President Trump has signed the executive order.
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."
President Trump is preparing to make a huge move on the illegal immigrant “family separation” issue that has consumed the nation’s attention this week.
“We’re going to be signing an executive order in a little while. We're also going to count on Congress, obviously, but we are going to be signing an executive order in a little while," Trump said.
See his remarks in the video below:
"We're going to keep families together," he continued. "But we still have to maintain toughness or our country will be overrun by people, by crime, by all the things that we don't stand for, that we don't want."
He indicated that he'll be signing the order before he goes to Minnesota.
The president added, "I’ll be doing something that’s somewhat preemptive and ultimately will be matched by legislation I’m sure.”
Trump’s administration has fought back against accusations that it’s his policy that has led to the removal of some children when their parents are taken into custody for illegally crossing the border. The White House has pointed out that they’re enforcing long-standing law and finding a number of dangerous individuals posing as families.
Trump has called on Democrats to work with Republicans in Congress to modify the law, put in place by a Democrat-controlled Congress in 2008. Democratic leaders like Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) have pushed back against a GOP proposal to fix the problem, indicating he wants to “keep the focus” on Trump.