President Trump said on Wednesday that he will be sign an executive order to deal with his controversial zero-tolerance immigration policy. It has resulted in thousands of children separated from their parents and brought criticism from both Democrats and Republicans.
“We’re going to keep families together but we still have to maintain toughness or our country will be overrun by people, by crime, by all of the things that we don’t stand for and that we don’t want,” Trump said.
The president made the brief announcement at the White House, but did not provide any further details regarding how families will be kept together. He said that he would sign the order before he left on a trip to Minnesota Wednesday afternoon.
Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., repeatedly shrugged his shoulders when asked about Trump’s announcement. “I don’t have much hope with the president that he’ll do something that’s actually good.”
“He’s thinking of doing something?” asked Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del. “I need to see what he actually does to have any real comment.”
Trump Called On Congress to Pass Legislation
During his brief statement, Trump again called on Congress to pass legislation to address the issue. His administration has been insisting for days that only Congress could fix the problem.
House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said Wednesday that the House will vote on immigration legislation. This move will be despite signs that the bills up for consideration cannot pass.
Both bills ready for a vote include language to end the controversial White House policy of separating migrant parents from their children at the border.
“Tomorrow we’re going to have a vote on legislation that makes sure we can enforce our laws and keep families together,” Ryan told reporters at a weekly press briefing. “We don’t think families should be separated.”
Ryan said it is a “ridiculous choice” to decide between separating families and enforcing laws, and both bills up for consideration would take steps to solve the issue.
Conservative Rep. Warren Davidson, R-Ohio, said that both bills represent a compromise, and neither has sufficient support.
“I don’t think either of them can pass right now,” Davidson said. “The compromise that’s most recent is a compromise within a compromise.”