Trump's decision to relent was a reversal since he had gambled that he could use the plight of the children and public outrage to ram through his hardline changes to immigration police in legislation. It's still unclear whether the official line is that family separation is a wise policy created to deter illegal border crossings or a tragic but unavoidable byproduct of immigration laws or a proudly humanitarian way to provide "summer camp" with video games and soccer for kids whose parents are bad, bad people.
The results have been heartbreaking.
The policy has led to the separation of roughly 2,000 children from their families, who are being prosecuted separately. But heartbreak was always the point.
Trump's directive to federal agencies was "work together to keep illegal immigrant families together during the immigration process and to reunite these previously separated groups".
More: Why are immigrant children being separated from parents? "You hear about people coming into our country illegally, breaking our laws and paying the consequences for it, right?" They don't care about lack of security.
He explained the true nature of the journey of minors from Guatemala, Honduras and other Central American nations, explaining that border agents go into the field with toys, clothes and food - purchased with their own money - to try to help the children they find.
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The condemnations have crossed party lines, with Franklin Graham, the pro-Trump evangelist son of the late Billy Graham, calling the policy "disgraceful". That means that, if a child who comes to the United States alone reunites with his or her family, ORR could hand them all over for deportation.
The order specifies that migrants entering the USA with children will not be kept together if there's a fear for the child's welfare. And yes, he housed unaccompanied children in tent cities. "When they do, their children are torn away from them because they are now "criminals".
President Donald Trump says he'll be signing something "in a little while" to address the spike in the number of migrant children being separated from their families at the border. For thousands of others, though, there's no end in sight to the separations. Its only goal is to cruelly deter wouldbe migrants and refugees from daring to seek their own American dream.
The crisis has reached the point that the usually silent first lady Melania Trump and former first lady Laura Bush have joined the public pushback. A vote on that bill was pushed to next week after a conservative measure failed and lawmakers sought changes to the somewhat more moderate measure.
"Republicans should stop wasting their time on immigration until after we elect more Senators and Congressmen/women in November", the President tweeted. But how much cruelty will it take to convince those seeking a better life to turn back?
That same day, congressional Republicans, keen to secure an end to the separation policy as they worked on separate immigration legislation, got vague marching orders from Trump during a meeting on Capitol Hill.