The Associated Press is reporting that Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen has drafted an executive action that would end the Trump administration’s policy of separating immigrant families caught crossing the border.
Nielsen was at the White House today, where Donald Trump also told reporters that he would be “signing something” on immigration soon, AP reports, citing two anonymous sources “familiar with Nielsen’s thinking.” The New York Times is also reporting that the executive order will end the policy.
While Trump himself didn’t make clear the specifics of what he would be signing, he did add, “We want to keep families together.”
The executive-action announcement follows widespread backlash to the policy. Reports about conditions at child detainment centers sparked outrage across the U.S., prompting protests and calls for an immediate end to the policy.
On social media, users urged each other to call their representatives in Washington, D.C., to pass S.B. 3036, also known as the Keep Families Together Act, in response to the “zero tolerance” practice of tearing migrant children away from their guardians.
Of the policy, introduced this spring by Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Nielsen, White House chief of staff John Kelly said that it would have a deterrent effect on immigration.
While many were shocked about the policy and the conditions of the children’s shelters—photos and reports showed hundreds of children in cages, wrapped in solar blankets that looked like tinfoil—Trump’s supporters appeared delighted. Republicans largely approved of the policy. It was so energizing to the base that Trump aides intended to carry the country’s deeply divisive immigration battle forward to this year’s midterm elections, according to Politico.