President Donald Trump reversed course on his policy separating immigrant children from parents who cross the U.S. border illegally, signing an executive order Wednesday that he said would end the practice.
“It’s about keeping families together,” Trump told reporters at the White House. “I didn’t like the sight or the feeling of families being separated.”
Trump has come under intense criticism from Congress and the public over the separations, which have resulted in more than 2,000 immigrant children placed in federal custody, according to the government. Senate Republicans were preparing to advance legislation that would prohibit the government from splitting up families apprehended after crossing the border.
The president and his top aides have insisted for days that they had no choice but to separate children from their parents due to unspecified U.S. laws. Trump has blamed Democrats for the policy, saying they must cooperate on legislation to end the policy.
In the end, Trump did it himself — an option that Democrats said was available to him all along. He acted as it became clear that House Republicans were unable to reach consensus on either of two immigration bills they were considering that included provisions to halt family separations.