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President Donald Trump, with Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and Vice President Mike Pence. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

President Trump signed an executive order Wednesday intended to end his administration’s policy of separating migrant children from their families at the border, stating that he "wants to keep families together" but also enforce the zero-tolerance policy that created this crisis.

"I feel very strongly about it. I think anybody with a heart would feel very strongly about it. We don’t like to see families separated. At the same time we don’t want people coming into our country illegally. This takes care of the problem.”
— President Trump

The backdrop: The order, which Trump signed sandwiched between Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and Vice President Mike Pence, comes days after Trump and his Cabinet refused to publicly back down from the policy, instead punting the issue to Congress.

Top Trump quotes from the signing:

  • "Gonna have a lot of happy people," he said as he signed the order.
  • Trump says his family pressed him on the issue: "Ivanka feels very strongly, my wife feels very strongly about it, I feel very strongly about it. I think anybody with a heart would feel very strongly about it."

Read the full order here.

Go deeper

Updated 39 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Large coronavirus outbreaks leading to high death rates — Coronavirus cases are at an all-time high ahead of Election Day — U.S. tops 88,000 COVID-19 cases, setting new single-day record.
  2. Politics: States beg for Warp Speed billions.
  3. World: Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases.
  4. 🎧Podcast: The vaccine race turns toward nationalism.

Technical glitch in Facebook's ad tools creates political firestorm

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Photo: SOPA Images / Contributor

Facebook said late Thursday that a mix of "technical problems" and confusion among advertisers around its new political ad ban rules caused issues affecting ad campaigns of both parties.

Why it matters: A report out Thursday morning suggested the ad tools were causing campaign ads, even those that adhered to Facebook's new rules, to be paused. Very quickly, political campaigners began asserting the tech giant was enforcing policies in a way that was biased against their campaigns.

2 hours ago - Health

States beg for Warp Speed billions

A COVID-19 drive-thru testing center yesterday at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens. Photo: David Santiago/Miami Herald via AP

Operation Warp Speed has an Achilles' heel: States need billions to distribute vaccines — and many say they don't have the cash.

Why it matters: The first emergency use authorization could come as soon as next month, but vaccines require funding for workers, shipping and handling, and for reserving spaces for vaccination sites.