Donald Trump. Picture: REUTERS
Donald Trump. Picture: REUTERS

Washington — US President Donald Trump said he will sign an executive order on Wednesday to keep families together amid a furore over his policy of separating children from their parents when caught illegally crossing the US border with Mexico.

Trump didn’t immediately elaborate on the order during remarks in a meeting with US lawmakers at the White House attended by the press.

Trump said he faced a dilemma between what he considered weak border-enforcement policies that allowed too many undocumented immigrants into the country, but he said stricter border enforcement stirred accusations that "you don’t have any heart", then added "perhaps I’d rather be strong".

Criticism of the president’s family-separation policy has mounted at home and abroad. On Wednesday, Pope Francis condemned the Trump policy as "immoral" and "contrary to our Catholic values" while British Prime Minister Theresa May called it "deeply disturbing" and "wrong".