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Trump signs order to end family separation

President Donald Trump at his desk prior to signing the executive order.
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.