CHICAGO (CBS) — Images of distraught children separated from their parents at the border between the U.S. and Mexico along with public backlash prompted President Donald Trump to take action.
“And by the way today I signed an executive order. We’re going to keep families together, but the border is going to be just as tough as it’s been,” stated President Donald Trump.
President Trump touted his decision allowing children to be detained with their parents at a Duluth, Minnesota rally Wednesday night.
Supporters in Duluth applauded his “zero tolerance” border policy, meaning anyone who crosses illegally will be charged criminally.
“This executive order by this President does not solve the crisis he created,” stated Illinois Senator Dick Durbin.
Critics like Illinois Senator Dick Durbin say a court order called the Flores Settlement only allows children to be detained for 20 days. The President has not said what will happen when that time is up. If the decree is thrown out, children can be detained indefinitely.
In Chicago, groups took aim at the current policy.
Gary, Indiana Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson is one of many locally elected officials that is heading to the border.
“We want to help people understand that Mayors are concerned,” said Freeman-Wilson.
Administration officials insist the issue is up to Congress to fix.
“We pass legislation, we closed the loopholes, we won’t face these terrible choices,” said U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Administration officials say this border crisis is tied to a law that does not allow children to stay with parents who are detained on criminal charges, adding children currently separated from parents or guardians will not immediately be reunited with them.