Donald Trump has said he will sign a decree to end family separations at the border, as the US House prepares to vote on a compromise immigration bill.

Homeland Security secretary Kirstjen Nielsen is understood to be drafting an order to end the practice of separating children from their parents when they arrive at the border without papers.

Although it was unclear if this is what Mr Trump is signing, he said he would be “signing something” and said he wants to keep families together.

“The people in this room want to do that and they’re working on various pieces of legislation to get it done,” Mr Trump said. “I’ll be doing something that’s somewhat preemptive but ultimately will be matched by legislation.”

Ms Nielsen is understood to be going to the White House to discuss the border problems with Mr Trump’s team.

A Border Patrol agent watches detainees
A Border Patrol agent watches detainees

Mr Trump again drew attention to the Democrats saying “they don’t want to vote for anything” and claiming “they really would like to have open borders where anybody in the world can just flow in”.

The Democratic party does not support a policy of open borders.

The President has continued to blame the Democrats for the situation claiming it is “their law” that causes the division of families and saying they “won’t give us the votes to pass good immigration legislation”.

U.S. President Trump discusses immigration policy during a Cabinet meeting at the White House in Washington


Trump: We want to keep families together

Trump’s address followed Paul Ryan’s announcement that the House of Representatives would vote on a bill to keep migrant families together, negotiated as a compromise between Republican conservatives and moderates.

The top Republican in the US Congress said: “We do not want children taken away from their parents. We can enforce our immigration laws without breaking families apart. The administration says it wants Congress to act and we are.”

There is no guarantee Mr Ryan’s measures will pass, however, and the speaker did not offer any back-up plan.

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Donald Trump (L) with US House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy after a closed-doors meeting
Donald Trump (L) with US House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy after a closed-doors meeting

Since 5 May, 2,300 children have been separated from their families at the border in Mexico.

It comes as families try to make the border crossing in the US illegally. Mr Trump’s administration has launched a “zero tolerance” approach to these crossings, meaning everyone who passes is sent for criminal proceedings.

As children cannot go to federal jail they are sent to other detention centres while their parents await trial.

With thousands now separated, Washington has been under growing pressure to end the practice.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau followed Theresa May’s footsteps in condemning the practice. He said separating children was “unacceptable” adding it was “not the way we do things in Canada”.

Mr Trump met behind closed doors with several members of his party earlier this week, with insiders reporting he was aware of the political damage the border policy was causing.

Following the meeting he tweeted: “Republicans want security. But I am working on something – it never ends!”



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