Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen is drafting an executive action for President Donald Trump that would direct her department to keep families together in detention after they are detained crossing the border illegally, according to two people familiar with her thinking. The ACLU has sued the government on behalf of families who entered the country at ports of entry, and were separated from their children nonetheless. Trump chose to split the families at the border - thereby complying with Flores by not detaining the children, but also prosecuting adults. The Justice Department is ordered, "to the extent practicable", to "prioritize the adjudication of cases involving detained families".
Katharina Obser, a senior policy adviser at the Women's Refugee Commission, said the order could result in expanded detention for immigrant families.
A Republican effort to pass an immigration law is in disarray amid a political battle over migrant children separated from their parents.
What court orders is he talking about?
The administration has consistently said that it was forced to separate families because of a court case known as "the Flores Settlement".
The final order in 1997 required that children only be released to their parents or legal guardian and that they be placed in the least restrictive conditions.
Mr Trump has made clear adults who illegally enter the USA will still be prosecuted.
Administration officials were unable to clarify whether family separations would end immediately or when and how families now separated would be reunited. The order would ask the Department of Defense to help house the detained families.
Attorney General Sessions cited the Bible as the foundation for enforcing a zero-tolerance policy. Two conservative members pointed out to HuffPost that, with a more aggressive campaign from Trump, as well as more pressure from GOP leadership - which had taken a more hands-off approach toward whipping this bill - and Republicans may be dangerously close to passing the Goodlatte bill, or some modified version of it.
"We will be going through Congress. We're working on a much more comprehensive bill", Trump said before signing the order. Children don't belong in jail at all, even with their parents, under any set of circumstances. Were going to keep families together but we still have to maintain toughness or our country will be overrun by people, by crime, by all of the things that we dont stand for and that we dont want. "Reunification is always the ultimate goal of those entrusted with the care of [unaccompanied children], and the administration is working towards that for those [unaccompanied children] now in HHS custody". The move comes amid outrage over reports of immigrant children being permanently separated from their parents and sent to separate detention facilities. Unaccompanied minors typically go from a U.S. Customs and Border Protection holding facility to the custody of the HHS Office of Refugee Resettlement.
While only a short term solution, the DOJ requested the changes because circumstances have changed since the original order was filed. "Like all mothers, I know my children, and I felt he's not well".
"The President doesn't get any brownie points for moving from a policy of locking up kids and families separately to locking them up together".
The conservative measure's 231-193 defeat set the stage for debate on the second bill, this one crafted by Republican leaders in hopes of finding an accord between the party's sparring moderate and conservative wings.
"Getting rid of the Flores Settlement is the quickest way to solve the problem", Krikorian told The Washington Post.