On Wednesday afternoon (June 20), President Donald Trump signed an executive order to stop children from being taken from parents at the US-Mexico border. In a CNN panel discussion, Carrie Cordero, former counsel at the Justice Department's National Security Division, said the president did not need to sign an official order to end the separation of families. This, however, is contrary to Trump's previous public assertions and those from his administration.

Cordero also added that an executive order was most likely decided upon, because 100 percent of those coming across the border, including asylum seekers, were subject to criminal charges.

And if charged with illegal entry into the US, the migrants would be jailed and their children would be taken away if kids made the journey with them. On a political front, sources told CNN that the president wanted to look decisive and told aides that it wouldn’t look good if he did it quietly, hence the public signing of the executive order.

President Trump signs an executive order but still touts the need for strong border control

It seems the audio of crying babies and pictures of humans in cages that have appeared everywhere on news networks and social media were too much to overcome politically. CNN reported that the president may have caved into the pressure because of the upcoming midterms and his current five-state campaign tour, as well as comments made by the Pope and allies that Trump has isolated with tariff proposals and the G-7 summit.

At the signing, Trump told the public he wanted to “keep families together," while ensuring a strong border. Trump also acknowledged there was pressure from his wife, First Lady Melania Trump, and his daughter, Ivanka Trump, to stop the separating of children from their parents. So now, whole families will be detained and children kept with their parents.

Before the order was signed, Trump officials strongly defended the policy

Worldwide media coverage of the US border situation and children being held in cage-like structures, drew the outrage of many Americans allies and the Pope, reported the Washington Post and New York Times. The head of the Department of Homeland Security, Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, gave a briefing on Monday (June 18) in which she attempted to explain the administration's policy on separating families.

Nielsen, like other Trump officials, said "an act of Congress would be needed" and that it was not up to the president, but that it was "up to congress and congress alone" to end the separation practices. This was not true. It only needed the approval of the POTUS and could have been done with a phone call to the attorney general.

Congressman Rep. Eric Swalwell (D), along with other lawmakers, have called for the resignation of Secretary Nielsen and Trump administrators involved in this crisis, including Attorney General Jeff Sessions. This is in light of their support and recent comments defending the separation of families.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions also strongly defended the separation policy, saying the enforcement of the policy and laws were necessary.

Sessions cited Romans 13, a bible scripture that was also used to enforce US slavery and segregation laws. This is in line with the kinds of beliefs that Congressman Luis Gutierrez slammed Jeff Sessions for having, stating that he believed Sessions "would love to see blacks in the back of the bus again."

Now that the executive order is signed, what's next?

The executive order will not end the zero-tolerance policy and would, in fact, create new legal problems for the Trump administration, according to CNN legal analysts. One reason is that the order instructs families to be kept together when possible, but does not address the reunification of families that have already been separated, just those going forward.

There was no provision in the order to return the 2,300 kids who were taken from their parents. In CNN interviews with lawmakers, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I) both said that there is a possibility that many of the 2,300 children spread across 16 states in the US may never be reunited with their parents.

Both congressmen pointed to other issues. The migrant parents do not know at which fosters homes, migrant camps, or holding centers the children are being kept. Nor do they know where to start looking. Since children can only be detained in jail for up to 20 days, they questioned where the children would go next. Would they be taken from their parents again? And although the executive order is signed, America's immigration crisis has not ended and many problems remain.