HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - President Donald Trump signed an executive order Wednesday to keep parents and children together who cross the U.S. border illegally.
Under the Trump administration's recent 'zero-tolerance' policy more than 23,000 children have been separated from their parents since May.
Images of children in government-run facilities triggered a firestorm of protests. The president had repeatedly insisted only Congress could fix the crisis, but in a meeting with Congressional Republicans, he announced his reversal.
And that move is being applauded in Alabama by organizations that work with immigrants.
"I think it it is a step in the right direction because again, it's not their fault," community member, Christina Hendley said.
"Well, I feel he should never have taken the kids away from their moms. That's really bad to do. Everybody loves their moms. Mom is everything," future Huntsville resident, Wallace Clift said.
The executive director of the Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice is glad the president stepped in to end this practice, but still has some concerns.
"This is something that sounds great. We just want to make sure that it happens," Sarai Portillo said
The administration recently put into place a 'zero tolerance' policy in which all unlawful border crossings are referred for prosecution. It's a process that moves adults to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service and sends many children to facilities run by the Department of Health and Human Services.
Days ago video and images were released of children being detained at a facility in Texas.
A social worker in Huntsville says she is worried about the trauma that could have been caused from separating children from their parents
"They're alone. They're in a strange place. They don't speak the language. Their parents have been removed. Those kinds of things last a lifetime and generations even from what we have understood through research," Social work director of the Angel Squad, Nickie Garbeil said.
The order aims to keep families together while they are in custody.
Currently, children are only allowed to be detained for 20 days. It is expected this executive order could be challenged in court.