That would allow families to remain together, but could also mean that the kids would be kept in custody far longer than they can be held now.
Mr. Trump also announced that he will be cancelling the congressional picnic Thursday, saying that it "didn't feel right" to host the gathering while lawmakers and the administration work towards a solution on immigraiton.
May said Wednesday that images of children in cages were "deeply disturbing". That's just what he did.
This meeting marks Mr. Trump's second meeting with Congress this week, following his meeting with House GOP members Tuesday, in the midst of a backlash over the separation of immigrant children from their parents who enter the country illegally through the southern border.
The settlement of a class-action lawsuit set policies for the treatment and release of unaccompanied children who are caught at the border. A senior Justice Department official said that hasn't changed.
"This is a stopgap measure", said Gene Hamilton, counsel to the attorney general.
Benjamin Griveaux, a French government spokesman, said the separation policy showed that France and the United States "don't share the same values". It's unclear what happens if no changes to law or the settlement take place by the time families reach the detainment deadline. Children can't be jailed with their parents.
And it didn't do much for the teeming outrage over the issue.
"No one wants to separate families and the president's action will ensure that those who are crossing our border illegally are detained and our laws are enforced", he said.
"The administration still plans to criminalize families - including children - by holding them in prison-like detention facilities. Those are the only two options, totally open borders or criminal prosecution for law-breaking", the President had said.
Trump's family apparently played a role in his turnaround.
NewscomAt a press conference on Monday, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen indignantly rejected the suggestion that her department's practice of forcibly separating illegal border crossers from their children was intended as a deterrent. "This is not the UK's approach", May told British lawmakers on Wednesday.
Assessments for possible detainee use have been done at three bases in Texas: Dyess Air Force Base, Goodfellow Air Force Base and Fort Bliss.
First Lady Melania Trump encouraged Trump to act on his own if Congress wasn't able to, a White House official said. "Republicans want security. But I am working on something - it never ends!" he wrote.
The Republican legislation would also provide $25bn (£19bn) in funding for border security, including Mr Trump's planned US-Mexico wall.
The "zero tolerance" policy isn't required by law, as Ilya Somin, professor of law at George Mason University and blogger at The Volokh Conspiracy, has argued: "They could easily exercise the discretion to avoid prosecution and family separation, as previous administrations have, and as the Trump administration itself does in the case of almost all small-time marijuana users".
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