"It is unfortunate that Congress's failure to act and court orders have put the Administration in the position of separating alien families to effectively enforce the law", the order states.
Democrats said the images of children being held in cages in border facilities, some crying for their parents, would be a moment remembered in USA history. Back on Capitol Hill, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was set to meet with a larger group of House Republicans. That's what he did on Wednesday.
"It's about keeping families together while at the same time making sure that we have a very powerful, very strong border", Trump said as he signed the order in a hastily arranged Oval Office gathering minutes before departing for a campaign event.
"So we're going to have strong, very strong borders, but we're going to keep the families together", the president said. The order does not end a 10-week-old "zero tolerance" policy that calls for criminal prosecution of immigrants crossing the border illegally. "And border security will be equal if not greater than previously".
For weeks, Trump had insisted he was bound by the law to split the children from their parents and that only Congress could resolve the problem - before he radically shifted gears.
Also playing a role in the president's turnaround: First lady Melania Trump.
But immigrant advocates say that's misleading because customs officers aren't allowing many to enter the U.S.so they can legally claim asylum, forcing them to try to find other ways in.
Speaker Paul Ryan is pushing ahead with votes on rival House GOP immigration bills, but neither appears to have enough support for passage, prompting President Donald Trump to take executive action Wednesday to stem the crisis of family separations at the border. "They really would like to have open borders where anybody in the world can just flow in, including from the Middle East, from anybody anywhere they can just flow into our country". "Republicans want security. But I am working on something - it never ends!"
In the House, GOP leaders scrambled Tuesday to produce a revised version of the broader immigration bill that would keep children in detention longer than now permitted - but with their parents.
Uruguay snatch late victory as Salah sits out
Uruguay have won their opening match at a World Cup tournament for the first time since 1970, when they beat Israel. The Egyptians will start with Marwan Mohsen , who plays for domestic side Al Ahly, as the lone out-and-out striker.
The Times cites a Health and Human Services (HHS) Department official as saying that the children will not immediately be reunited with their families while their parents are detained throughout their immigration proceedings.
The executive order says the government will prosecute everyone who crosses the border illegally.
Brian Hastings, Border Patrol's acting chief of operations, told reporters that the agency's field supervisors have discretion to allow those young children to stay with their parents, if, for instance, they are breast-feeding or if USA authorities believe there is a "humanitarian" reason to keep them with their family members.
In April, Attorney-General Jeff Sessions adopted a "zero tolerance" approach to illegal border crossings at the US-Mexico border. She was heckled at a restaurant Tuesday evening and has faced protesters at her home.
The GOP compromise bill officially unveiled Tuesday would fund Trump's proposed border wall, create a pathway to citizenship for young immigrants brought to the USA illegally as children, end the diversity visa "lottery" program in favor of what the GOP calls a merit-based visa pool and seek to end the separation of migrant children and parents.
The person providing the information on the proposal was not authorized to do so by name and commented only on condition of anonymity.
Immigration dominated Trump's day: He spent much of an afternoon speech to a small business association riffing about immigration and suggesting he could push for changes to the House GOP legislation. More than 2,300 children are being held separate from their parents.
In 2016, the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that child migrants who came to the border with parents and were held in custody must be released.