Instead, they'll be under the custody of the Department of Homeland Security, a change the administration had previously said it could not do.
US President Donald Trump said he will sign an executive order on immigration to end the separation of immigrant families at the US-Mexico border, which has sparked outrage in the United States and overseas.
In the executive order, Trump makes an effort to have families' cases decided faster in immigration courts.
Under the administration's "zero-tolerance" policy introduced earlier this year, immigrant families who cross the border illegally are separated, with parents facing federal prosecution on illegal entry charges and children placed into the care of the Department of Health and Human Services.
Meanwhile, the document Trump signed won't reunite the more than 2,300 children now separated from their parents, whose plight Trump admitted privately this week was deeply damaging to him politically.
They are not swayed by heart-rending photos of children in cages and audio of them crying out for their parents.
But despite the presidential pomp - Trump gave Nielsen the marker he used to sign the order - the president's action is unlikely to completely fix the problem. That's just what he did.
Speaking with reporters Wednesday, Trump noted that the order would maintain his "zero tolerance" policy on people attempting to immigrate illegally into the United States, but that it would allow children to remain with their parents or other adult guardians. The order also calls for the justice department to request to modify the Flores agreement to allow children to be held longer, but it is unclear what will happen if the law does not change.
"This is a stopgap measure", said Gene Hamilton, counsel to the attorney general. He argued that using the term "indefinite detention" is "disingenuous".
He suggested that only the "very naive" would believe that Trump's executive order had completely resolved the problem. As many as 60 of these unaccompanied minors can be in the system in OR at any one time.
The children, who are not charged with a crime, were separated as a result of their parents' criminal case.
And it didn't do much for the teeming outrage over the issue.
It was an abrupt decision for a President known more for leaning into his unpopular decisions than abandoning them. As children can not legally be jailed with their parents, they are kept in separate facilities. Dianne Feinstein said in a statement.
Trump's family apparently played a role in his turnaround.
The Senate is considering narrower proposals to deal with the separation of families as a standalone issue.
Congress is still struggling to resolve myriad issues, including the fate of unauthorized immigrants brought into the country as children, as well as Trump's demand for $25 billion to build a wall along the southwestern border, with the House facing a series of hard votes Thursday on the immigration question. Assessments for possible detention facilities at military bases have already been done in Texas and another is expected in Arkansas on Thursday.
"What we have done today is we are keeping families together". The official was not authorized to discuss Melania Trump's thinking on the record and spoke on the condition of anonymity. If the new policy is rejected by the courts, which the administration acknowledges is a possibility, the debate could move back to square one. She was heckled at a restaurant Tuesday evening and has faced protesters at her home.
Trump has blamed Democrats for the policy, saying they must cooperate on legislation to end the policy. He called them "extremist open-border Democrats".
Activists are especially concerned that there isn't a formal system for reuniting immigrant parents with their children after their court proceedings are over.
Sessions, who announced and defended the "zero-tolerance" policy over the course of the past month, is already Trump's most hated Cabinet official for his recusal from the Russian Federation investigation.
According to government figures, more than 2,300 minors separated from their families after illegally crossing the US southern border with Mexico from May 5 through June 9.
An estimated 5,00,000 illegal immigrant families and minors from Central America have been released into the United States since 2014 as the USA immigration authorities do not follow a policy of deporting such immigrants held for illegal entry. If those options are exhausted, authorities must find the "least restrictive" setting for a child who arrived without parents.
But the president added that the "zero tolerance" policy will continue, and children will be held along with their parents in immigration detention while the parents are prosecuted. Other recent rulings, upheld on appeal, affirm the children's rights to a bond hearing and require better conditions at the Border Patrol's short-term holding facilities.