Just to be clear, what President Trump signed does not “solve” the problem of separation of illegal immigrant families. It just punts it to the courts.
The White House is being vilified in the press for supposedly lying when it claimed that it could not legally keep the families together. It was not a lie, it is true, and the order seems contingent on whether a judge will change what is legally permissible.
Here are the relevant clauses from the order.
The Secretary of Homeland Security (Secretary), shall, to the extent permitted by law and subject to the availability of appropriations, maintain custody of alien families during the pendency of any criminal improper entry or immigration proceedings involving their members.
The Attorney General shall promptly file a request with the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California to modify the Settlement Agreement in Flores v. Sessions, CV 85-4544 (“Flores settlement”), in a manner that would permit the Secretary, under present resource constraints, to detain alien families together throughout the pendency of criminal proceedings for improper entry or any removal or other immigration proceedings.
The case has been filed with Judge Dolly Maizie Gee, a Los Angeles-based, Obama-appointed federal judge. What she will do, I cannot say. That she is most likely not sympathetic to Trump and his “zero-tolerance” policy seems at least highly probable.