President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order on Wednesday that allows families to be kept together when they reach the border, multiple outlets reports.
The Trump administration has received intense scrutiny in the last few weeks over its “zero tolerance” policy on immigration that separated children from their parents once they were detained at the border.
“We’re 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 don’t stand for and that we don’t want,” Trump said on Wednesday hours before signing the order.
Surrounded by Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen, who has received backlash after being the public face of the now reversed policy.
Trump’s latest order contradicts the White House’s earlier claims that there was nothing the president could do and that it would be up to Congress to end the widely condemned practice.
Parents will still be prosecuted but their kids will stay with them, according to Vox.
“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 reads. “It is unfortunate that Congress’s failure to act and court orders have put the Administration in the position of separating alien families to effectively enforce the law.”