Trump says he'll sign 'pre-emptive' order to end family separations

He said, "We are keeping families together".

Mr Sessions announced a "zero-tolerance" policy to criminally charge and jail undocumented border crossers.

When asked specifically about the images of children being taken from their parents at immigration centers, Trump said that the images affected him.

President Trump, with DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, left, and Vice President Pence, right, prepares to sign an executive order ending the practice of separating migrant families.

CBS News' Nancy Cordes reports that most lawmakers do not view the order as a permanent fix, and many believe that either congressional legislation will have to fill in the gaps, or the Trump administration will need to back down from its zero-tolerance policy.

"The message was that even though the president was a little unclear perhaps in his chat, he was very much in favor of the [compromise] bill", Rep. Fred Upton (R., Mich.) said in describing the pitch early Wednesday from House Republican leaders.

"The Department of Homeland Security's going to have to work with the court and ensure that they are able to keep these families as an integrated unit in detention facilities pending their criminal prosecution of the parents and/or the deportation of the whole family for violation of our immigration laws", Azar said.

In the meeting late Tuesday, Mr. Trump stopped short of telling House Republicans that he would immediately reverse his policy.

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The news in recent days has been dominated by searing images of children held in cages at border facilities, as well as audio recordings of young children crying for their parents - images that have sparked fury, question of morality and concern from Republicans about a negative impact on their races in November's midterm elections. "When we have an announcement to make, we'll make it". Pope Francis Wednesday condemned the Trump family separation policy as "immoral" and "contrary to our Catholic values" while British Prime Minister Theresa May called it "deeply disturbing" and "wrong".

Earlier Wednesday morning, Trump blamed Democrats, tweeting, "It's the Democrats fault, they won't give us the votes needed to pass good immigration legislation".

"They don't care about crime and want illegal immigrants, no matter how bad they may be, to pour into and infest our country, like MS-13".

Families would remain in the custody of the Department of Homeland Security, rather than having minors shifted to care under the Department of Health and Human Services.

The president says his administration is trying to balance rigorous enforcement of USA immigration laws and pursue its policy of maintaining family unity. Because any illegal border crossing is prosecuted, parents and children are separated during the legal process.

Babies and toddlers have been sent to three "tender age" shelters maintained by the Department of Health and Human Services, the Associated Press news agency reports. "That would most likely violate the [settlement] agreement that limits the government's ability to keep children in detention and orders them to be placed in [the] least-restrictive setting possible".

Right now, a disturbing trend shows that children are being used to cross the border illegally with adults, who will then claim asylum as a family unit and hope to be released into the interior of the United States more quickly. However, at the 20-day mark, under the Flores consent decree, the department will have to release the children from custody.

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