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Mayors of major US cities who gathered Thursday at a holding facility for immigrant children at Texas' border with Mexico said President Trump has failed to address a humanitarian crisis of his own making with an executive order to halt the separation of minors as families are detained crossing the USA border illegally.

The surprise trip "was 100 percent her idea", the first lady's spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham told reporters travelling with her to Texas. "Indefinitely detaining children with their families in camps is inhumane and will not make us safe", said Sen. To not separate the families, his administration released both children and parents trusting they would appear at the court hearing on their immigration cases.

Melania Trump sat alongside Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar at a table at Upbring New Hope Children's Center and heard caregivers explain how the children are well treated.

Mrs. Trump went further, saying she "hates" to see families separated at the border.

Mrs Trump, sitting with officials at a centre in McAllen, Texas, said: "How can I help these families reunite with their children as quickly as possible?"

The youthful jacket sharply contrasts with the first lady's typically bold, foreign-flavored wardrobe.

"I didn't want my name attached to that", he said of the bill he decried as an amnesty for immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally.

"We're gonna keep families together, but the border is gonna be just as tough as it's been", Trump said. "She wanted to see everything for herself".

Little more than an hour after the story was first posted, the outlet was forced to update its story, clarifying that the Trump administration was not actually suspending prosecutions for parents of migrant children, but rather instructing Border Patrol agents to stop sending parents with children to federal courthouses for prosecution. She says this leaves groups like hers "uncertain" about how to manage those kids already in detention in the US.

Trump's solution is to imprison parents and children together.

"Transitioning from the cruel and inhumane policy of family separation to the cruel and inhumane policy of indefinite family detention can not be the solution here", read the statement by HIAS President Mark Hetfield.

The votes come a day after US President Donald Trump, in a stunning about-face, ordered an end to the family separations at the border.

Meanwhile, there were signs that the administration was dialing back its "zero tolerance" policy, for now.

He said word got around during President Obama's tenure that those who would illegally try and cross the border with a minor would "given immunity from prosecution".