June 20 (UPI) — President Donald Trump said Wednesday he will sign an executive order to end the practice of separating families at the U.S.-Mexico border.
“We want security for our country. The Republicans want security and insist on security for our country and we will have that,” Trump told reporters at the White House. “At the same time we have compassion, we want to keep families together. It’s very important.”
“I’ll be signing something in a little while that’s going to do that and the people in this room want to do that and they’re working on various pieces of legislation to get it done,” he added. “But I’ll be doing something that’s somewhat preemptive but ultimately will be matched by legislation I’m sure.”
The comments are a reversal for the president and his administration. In a speech Tuesday, he said congressional action was the way to resolve the issue.
The Trump administration has been under increasing pressure from the public, religious leaders, and Democrats in Congress, as well as most Republicans to end the well-publicized practice of separating children from parents at border detention facilities.
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen visited the White House on Wednesday to work with administration lawyers to devise an executive order to end the segregation, Politico reported, citing a source familiar with the matter.
Until Wednesday, Trump had held firm on the matter. He’s said Democrats are using the issue against him, but has signaled that he seeks a quick end to the controversy.
“We’re having a lot of problems with Democrats that don’t want to vote for anything,” he said. “They don’t care about lack of security. They really would like to have open borders where anybody in the world can just flow in, including from the Middle East, from anybody anywhere they can just flow into our country.”