United States President Donald Trump on Wednesday said he would sign an executive order to keep migrant families together. The president confirmed it during his discussions with senators at the White House, reported The Guardian.

“We’re going to be signing an executive order in a little while,” Trump said. “We’re going to keep families together but we still have to maintain toughness or our country will be overrun by people, by crime, by all of the things that we don’t stand for and that we don’t want.”

In May, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a “zero tolerance” policy that allows authorities to file criminal charges against undocumented immigrants. This has led to nearly 2,000 children being separated from their parents in just six weeks.

This comes after Trump’s administration faced widespread criticism for defending its policy of separating children from their families when they are caught entering the United States without documentation. Investigative news website ProPublica on Monday put out an audio recording of immigrant children from Central America crying inconsolably for their parents at a detention centre on the US-Mexico border.

First Lady Melania Trump on Sunday joined the chorus against the policy, saying she “hates to see children separated from their families”. Laura Bush, wife of former President George W Bush, called the policy immoral and said it was inconsistent with American values. Rosalyn Carter, the wife of former President Jimmy Carter, has also criticised the policy. While Democrats blasted the policy as barbaric, a few of Trump’s fellow Republicans also voiced concerns.