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Trump Reverses Stance on Separating Families

WASHINGTON -- After days of claiming his hands were tied and it was up to Congress to act, President Trump signed an executive order that will end the separation of families illegally crossing the border.

The executive order signed yesterday does not reverse the Trump administration's zero tolerance policy. Those caught illegally crossing the border will still be prosecuted. 

"We're keeping families together and that will solve that problem at the same time, we are keeping a very powerful border."

Children will no longer be separated from their parents. The president's about face came after mounting pressure from all sides.
 "Ivanka feels very strongly. my wife feels very strongly about it."

But questions linger. Like what will happen to the more than 2,000 children already separated? A statement from the Department of Health and Human Services says they are still awaiting guidance.

And a two-decade old legal settlement says that children, even ones with their parents, are required to be released within 20 days.

"This is very good compromise legislation that not only solves the child separation issue at the border, it also solves the border," said House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI.)

House republicans have two bills they plan to vote on later today. Both would allow children to remain in the government's custody.  

"If they're then going to be placed in detention for an indefinite period of time that is not  good thing-that is not a good solution," said Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI).

Senators say they need bipartisan legislation to fix the problems.  Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) added, "We may end up with separate bills--a Democrat bill and a Republican bill, neither one of which passes. I hope that doesn't happen. I hope we come together."

At a rally in Minnesota last night, the president repeated his desire to have a merit-based immigration system.

 President Trump will meet with Defense Secretary James Mattis later today. The Defense Department is tasked with seeing through elements of the Executive Order.

(Hena Doba, CBS News)


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