But the move leaves many questions unanswered.
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he would sign something "pre-emptive" soon to solve the problem of immigrant families being separated at the U.S. southern border, which has sparked outrage in the United States and overseas.
Under the "zero-tolerance" crackdown that the Trump administration rolled out in May, all border crossers - include first-time offenders - are criminally charged and jailed pending trial.
TRUMP: "We're keeping families together, and this will solve that problem".
It does not require the government to stop separating families.
The president says his administration is trying to balance rigorous enforcement of USA immigration laws and pursue its policy of maintaining family unity.
The president said his wife, Melania, and daughter, Ivanka, who reportedly have been applying pressure on him to drop the policy in recent days, "feel strongly" about ending the practice of separating migrant families.
What court orders is he talking about?
He said he was looking into whether the court could block deportation of parents until they have been reunited with their children, and whether it could force the Trump administration to reunite those separated. The settlement was later modified to say that children should not be held longer than 20 days.
The executive order does not overturn the administration's "zero-tolerance" policy, as Trump said during the Oval Office signing, but rather allows the Department of Homeland Security to maintain custody of undocumented families pending immigration proceedings.
Until Wednesday, the president, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and other officials had repeatedly argued the only way to end the practice was for Congress to pass new legislation, while Democrats said he could do it with his signature alone.
The House will also vote on a more hard-line immigration proposal favoured by conservatives.
Despite the new executive order, it's unclear when or how those children will be returned to their parents. Trump told House Republicans on Tuesday night he would support either of the immigration bills under consideration but did not give a preference.
"We will be going through Congress".
The order also said DHS can construct new housing facilities. But as The Washington Post reports, few people are predicting either House measure will pass. Some children have been held in refugee resettlement centers for months before being released to a parent, relative, or foster family.
"Indefinitely detaining children with their families in camps is inhumane and will not make us safe".
"There will not be a grandfathering of existing cases", said Wolfe, as quoted by the Times.
Jocelyn was in US federal criminal custody for nearly a month for her misdemeanor charge of entering the country illegally and then spent another six months in detention facilities. I feel very strongly about it. "So I'm going to be signing an executive order in a little while before I go to Minnesota".
The US President is facing intense criticism after it emerged that young children are being held in former warehouses after their parents were detained as illegal immigrants. "Second, this executive order effectively creates family prisons, which we already know are a threat to the well-being of children".
More than 100 protesters demonstrate outside the federal courthouse where a federal judge will hear arguments over the US Justice Department's request to block three California laws that extend protections to people in the country illegally, on June 20, 2018, in Sacramento, California.