World Bulletin / News Desk
Trump said he will be taking "preemptive" action to halt the actions that have drawn widespread and bipartisan criticism. He said the action "ultimately will be matched by legislation" after House Speaker Paul Ryan announced the House will vote Thursday on legislation to end the practice.
"We've got to be keeping families together," Trump said.
Ryan made the claim earlier Wednesday, saying: "We can enforce our immigration laws without breaking families apart. The administration says it wants Congress to act and we are."
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen is reportedly drafting an executive action for Trump to sign that would end her department's practice of separating undocumented children from their parents.
As it stands, Trump's "zero tolerance" policy refers all undocumented adults for criminal prosecution -- a break with past administrations who limited criminal referral for most adults who illegally cross into the U.S. with their juvenile family members.
The children, who are not charged with a crime, are separated as a result of their parents' criminal case. As a matter of regulation, they are not allowed to be detained with their parents during legal proceedings.
Images of undocumented immigrants, including children, being held in chain-link metal cages has stirred uproar and prompted some within Trump's Republican Party to break with the president on humanitarian grounds.