Speed Reads

zero tolerance

Trump is reportedly set to reverse his own administration's family separation policy

President Trump will reportedly sign an executive order to end his own administration's "zero tolerance" policy of separating migrant parents from their children at the U.S.-Mexico border, The New York Times reports. Ahead of the expected order, Trump canceled Thursday's congressional picnic, saying it "doesn't feel right" because "we're doing something so important."

Trump and other administration officials have long resisted reversing the heavily-criticized policy of separating families, initially announced by Attorney General Jeff Sessions in May. Trump has attempted to pass the blame off on Democrats, and when asked why he didn't take executive action by ABC News' Kenneth Moton last week, Trump replied: "We can't do it through an executive order."

Also on Wednesday, The Associated Press reported that Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, who has been at the center of the controversy, reportedly drafted an order that would put an end to the policy she has defended. "We will not apologize for enforcing the laws passed by Congress," she had tweeted earlier this week, although there are no such laws ordering children to be separated. "We are a nation of laws. We are asking Congress to change the laws."

The New York Times notes that Trump's executive order, which would end "the separation of families at the border by indefinitely detaining parents and children together," would have to also get around the 1997 Flores settlement, which prohibits the government from holding minors in immigration detention for more than 20 days, regardless of if they are with a parent or not.

CNN says Trump had faced pressure from first lady Melania Trump over the policy, which many critics have pointed out he could have ended at any time.