Responding to heated criticism about his family separation policy, Trump signed an order modifying the plan after repeatedly — and inaccurately — saying he could not do so under existing law and blaming congressional Democrats for the practice.
Trump’s executive order continues the “zero tolerance” approach of referring all people apprehended for criminal prosecution. But it says that instead of separating children and sending them to the care of the Department of Health and Human Services, the families would be kept together under the Department of Homeland Security.
“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,” it reads.
One exception: The order says that children will not be kept with parents when there is concern that doing so “would pose a risk to the child’s welfare.”
The order also says that the Department of Defense will work to provide “any existing facilities available” to house the families and construct new ones if necessary.
Since family detention centers were barred by a legal decision known as the Flores settlement, the order also requires Attorney General Jeff Sessions to request that a U.S. District Court negotiate a modification to the settlement that will allow the new detention policy to be set in motion.
You can read Trump’s entire immigration order below.