Bur critics continued to lay the blame for the ongoing problem at the feet of the Trump administration, saying the White House does not want to address the root of the problem - turmoil in the Central American countries from which most of the recent migrants come.
Immigration agents say they have identified more than 3,100 migrants over the past year making fraudulent claims about their age or family relationships after crossing the southern border.
The U.S. took the unprecedented action at the nation's busiest border crossing in San Diego in January in response to growing numbers of families fleeing poverty and gang violence in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.
It's not immediately clear what laws Trump thinks should change or how he'd like to see troops acting while operating inside their own country.
The ruling by U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg in San Francisco marked a rebuke for the Trump administration's efforts to stop the flow of migrants seeking asylum through the U.S. border with Mexico.
The Trump administration said the policy responds to a crisis at the southern border that has overwhelmed the ability of immigration officials to detain migrants. Smith then proceeded to fact-check Trump's claims regarding the child separation policy, and inform his viewers of what really led up to the images of children in cages that the entire world was so horrified by. "We can't take you anymore", he said last week to asylum seekers.
Trump says the USA faces a security and humanitarian calamity. "Our military, don't forget, can't act like they would normally act because if they got a little rough, everybody would go insane", Trump told reporters in San Antonio, Texas, a city with so many military bases in the area that it's been given the nickname "Military City, USA".
Of last month's apprehensions, Hastings said about 30,000 were single adults, 8,900 were unaccompanied minors and 53,000 were people traveling with families - a 375% increase in families stopped at the border over the first half of fiscal 2018.
Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said Democrats were in early discussions about what legislation to craft and were trying to arrange meetings with the White House on the issue.
"We have others, but right now he's the man", the president added. Trump's doubling down on family separation could spell trouble in 2020. "It's pretty hard for me to say I'd give them more". Asked whether he was considering nominating McAleenan as his permanent secretary, Trump said it "could happen".
Families seeking asylum that typically would have been released in the USA with notices to appear in court, were instead sent back to Mexico to await their hearings.
Some asylum-seekers affected by the program have told the immigration judge assigned to their cases how much more hard being in Mexico has made navigating the court system.