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Go deeper: What Trump's executive order on child separation does

President Trump holding up a signed executive order on immigration
Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump signed an executive order Wednesday afternoon that instructs the Justice Department to appeal a 2015 court ruling in order to allow family migrants to be detained together until deported or granted asylum — but it doesn't change much right now.

Big picture: Nothing will change unless the Flores Agreement ruling is actually modified. As of right now, families are only permitted to be held in detention together for up to 20 days, Gene Hamilton, counselor to the Attorney General, told reporters on a phone call shortly after the signing. It is unclear whether DHS will immediately begin detaining families together for at least those 20 days.