The administration also has sought a permanent legislative fix on the issue, but congressional Republicans said the US House of Representatives was likely to reject two immigration bills created to halt the practice of splitting up families and address a range of other immigration issues.
Third-graders at a facility housing migrant children separated from their parents welcomed first lady Melania Trump with a large paper American flag they'd signed. Hindustan Times delivers the news across all social media platforms, on the web, and at your doorstep.
Bethany Christian Services, a global nonprofit based in Grand Rapids that provides foster care, adoption, resettlement and other services, is now assisting these displaced children.
Jonathan Lemire, the White House correspondent for the Associated Press, told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that Trump enacted the policy - which he later blamed on Democrats - to intentionally ignite another political firestorm.
"The Flores Settlement prohibits the indefinite detention of children - even with their families - and any order to undermine this critical protection will be immediately challenged in court", said senior Democratic Senator Dick Durbin.
Similar to the executive order Trump signed Wednesday, it mandates that families be detained together while adults go through criminal proceedings.
Joe Wilson, of SC, announced he would support the legislation after meeting Mr Trump, who he said was persuasive.
The president ordered federal agencies on Thursday to begin reuniting immigrant families at the U.S. -Mexico border, but his efforts to roll back a policy that drew global condemnation were beset by confusion.
At the White House, Trump defended his administration's "zero tolerance" policy of prosecuting all migrants caught illegally entering the country, a change that has caused thousands of families to be divided while the parents are detained.
President Trump had come under pressure to stop the practice of separating families, including from GOP allies and the first lady herself, following a public outcry sparked by widespread images of children held in fence-like structures.
Speaking outside a cluster of fenced-off tents nestled along the Rio Grande, they said Trump's order raises as many new questions as it answers.
The Trump administration previously had not said whether any hundreds of children who were separated from their families had been reunited.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) slammed the idea of working with Republicans on compromise bills aimed at fixing the immigration crisis Thursday.
Passage of the bill was always a long shot, but failure might now come at a steeper price as Republicans - and Trump - have raised expectations that, as the party in control of US Congress and the White House, they can fix the nation's long-standing immigration problems.