"So what I'm asking Congress to do is to give us a third option, which we have been requesting since past year, the legal authority to detain and promptly remove families together as a unit", Trump said Tuesday.
"The administration says it wants Congress to act and we are", House Republican Leader Paul Ryan said before Trump's actions.
Speaking from the Oval Office at the White House, Trump said that he "didn't like the sight or the feeling" of the divided families.
"But at the same time I think you have to understand we are keeping families together, but we have to keep our borders strong".
Under a court settlement, the federal government can not hold the children for more than 20 days.
Under the order, entire immigrant families would be detained together by the Department of Homeland Security pending legal and court proceedings for the parents. "This becomes a backup proposal", Meadows told reporters at the White House.
But that information seemed to conflict with a statement from a division inside HHS.
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen has drafted an executive action for President Donald Trump that would direct her department to keep families together after they are detained crossing the border illegally.
The government would prioritize processing such families and add 1,000 beds and 225 immigration judges.
Wolfe spoke hours after President Trump signed the order reversing the separation policy after days of public uproar. But many members of his own party called on him to stop it.
I appreciate the need to enforce and protect our global boundaries, but this zero-tolerance policy is cruel.
The president continued: 'We must always arrest people coming into our Country illegally.
Trump has blamed Democrats for the policy, saying they must cooperate on legislation to end the policy. Because any illegal border crossing is prosecuted, parents and children are separated during the legal process.
Pegging his Facebook post to World Refugee Day, Obama implored his former constituents to imagine themselves as immigrants "so desperate to flee persecution, violence, and suffering" that they'd attempt to bring their families into the U.S. The House leaders still hope to have votes on both bills on Thursday.
"We want to keep families together", he said.
"The border is just as tough. They sure as heck don't know what to do in 2020, do they?"
Trump had tweeted early Wednesday, before issuing his order: "It's the Democrats fault, they won't give us the votes needed to pass good immigration legislation". "And border security will be equal, if not greater than previously".
Even some of the president's biggest Republican supporters said they disagree with his policy. "Locking up whole families is no solution at all".
The only other woman reportedly in the room was White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who was standing.
Several White House aides, led by adviser Stephen Miller, have encouraged the president to make immigration a defining issue for the midterms. Senator Kamala Harris of California will travel to the border region of her state on Friday to meet with migrant mothers whose children were taken into federal custody.
The settlement of a class-action lawsuit set policies for the treatment and release of unaccompanied children who are caught at the border. He accused federal authorities of concealing the placement of the children in NY. And officials said the cases of the children already separated and turned over to their custody would proceed as usual. "They are receiving medical and psychological counseling". And he said Trump was simply being Trump.
Meanwhile, Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein - the UN's top human rights official - essentially accused the USA of committing child abuse.
With emotions running high, a handful of House Democrats protested the Trump meeting, yelling out at Trump in a rare face-to-face demonstration against a president by sitting members of Congress.
"Ivanka feels very strongly", Trump said. Whether Trump's support can push any immigration measure through the divided GOP majority remains a question.
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