Trump WH 4
PHOTO: CNN
Trump WH 4
Now playing
01:38
Trump blames Dems for family separations
President Donald Trump addresses the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly, at U.N. headquarters, Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
PHOTO: Richard Drew/AP
President Donald Trump addresses the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly, at U.N. headquarters, Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
Now playing
01:17
Trump to migrants: Make your nations great again
Central American immigrants depart ICE custody, pending future immigration court hearings on June 11, 2018 in McAllen, Texas. Thousands of undocumented immigrants continue to cross into the U.S., despite the Trump administration's recent "zero tolerance" approach to immigration policy.  (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
PHOTO: John Moore/Getty Images
Central American immigrants depart ICE custody, pending future immigration court hearings on June 11, 2018 in McAllen, Texas. Thousands of undocumented immigrants continue to cross into the U.S., despite the Trump administration's recent "zero tolerance" approach to immigration policy. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:06
Judge blocks asylum seekers from deportation
PHOTO: Pool
Now playing
01:51
Trump: I prefer shutdown before midterms
CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 29:  Demonstrators hold a rally in the Little village neighborhood calling for the elimination of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and an end to family detentions on June 29, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. Protests have erupted around the country recently as people voice outrage over the separation and detention of undocumented children and their parents.  (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Scott Olson/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 29: Demonstrators hold a rally in the Little village neighborhood calling for the elimination of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and an end to family detentions on June 29, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. Protests have erupted around the country recently as people voice outrage over the separation and detention of undocumented children and their parents. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:30
HHS refusing to release family separation stats
Now playing
01:01
Reporter to Sarah Sanders: Why did Trump lie?
Now playing
01:28
Trump: ICE agents are mean but have heart
PHOTO: Pool
Now playing
01:23
Trump: Our facilities better than Obama's
trump king of jordan visit
PHOTO: CNN
trump king of jordan visit
Now playing
01:15
Trump: No regrets signing executive order
Immigrant children walk in a line outside the Homestead Temporary Shelter for Unaccompanied Children, a former Job Corps site that now houses them, on Wednesday, June 20, 2018, in Homestead, Fla. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
PHOTO: Brynn Anderson/AP
Immigrant children walk in a line outside the Homestead Temporary Shelter for Unaccompanied Children, a former Job Corps site that now houses them, on Wednesday, June 20, 2018, in Homestead, Fla. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
Now playing
01:54
Children in limbo after Trump executive order
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo listens as President Donald Trump speaks during a cabinet meeting at the White House, Thursday, June 21, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
PHOTO: Evan Vucci/AP
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo listens as President Donald Trump speaks during a cabinet meeting at the White House, Thursday, June 21, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Now playing
02:18
White House chaos over immigration reversal
Watched by Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen (L) and Vice President Mike Pence, US President Donald Trump signs an executive order on immigration in the Oval Office of the White House on June 20, 2018 in Washington, DC. - US President Donald Trump on Wednesday signed an executive order aimed at putting an end to the controversial separation of migrant families at the border, reversing a harsh practice that had earned international scorn."It's about keeping families together," Trump said at the signing ceremony. "I did not like the sight of families being separated," he added. (Photo by Mandel Ngan / AFP)        (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
PHOTO: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images
Watched by Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen (L) and Vice President Mike Pence, US President Donald Trump signs an executive order on immigration in the Oval Office of the White House on June 20, 2018 in Washington, DC. - US President Donald Trump on Wednesday signed an executive order aimed at putting an end to the controversial separation of migrant families at the border, reversing a harsh practice that had earned international scorn."It's about keeping families together," Trump said at the signing ceremony. "I did not like the sight of families being separated," he added. (Photo by Mandel Ngan / AFP) (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Now playing
02:49
What's next after Trump's policy reversal?
Trump meeting 06202018
PHOTO: POOL
Trump meeting 06202018
Now playing
02:33
Trump reverses position on family separations
President Donald Trump signs an executive order to keep families together at the border, but says that the 'zero-tolerance' prosecution policy will continue, during an event in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, June 20, 2018. Standing behind Trump are Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, left, and Vice President Mike Pence. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
PHOTO: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP
President Donald Trump signs an executive order to keep families together at the border, but says that the 'zero-tolerance' prosecution policy will continue, during an event in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, June 20, 2018. Standing behind Trump are Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, left, and Vice President Mike Pence. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Now playing
01:52
Trump signs executive order to end family separations
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
01:18
Trump: Take children away to prosecute parents
THE PRESIDENT meets with the National Space Council  In-House Pool (Pre-set 9:30AM | Final Gather 11:15AM -- Palm Room Doors)
PHOTO: Pool
THE PRESIDENT meets with the National Space Council In-House Pool (Pre-set 9:30AM | Final Gather 11:15AM -- Palm Room Doors)
Now playing
01:40
Trump: The US will not be a migrant camp
(CNN) —  

President Donald Trump blamed Democrats for the separation of families at the US border Friday, a response he’s repeatedly made to criticism his administration has faced since it adopted a policy that results in far more children being separated from their parents.

“The Democrats forced that law upon our nation,” Trump told reporters at the White House. “I hate it. I hate to see separation of parents and children. The Democrats can come to us as they actually are in all fairness, we are talking to them, and they can change the whole border security. We need a wall. We need border security. We’ve got to get rid of catch and release.”

The President’s comments are significant given how his administration is operating and what Congress is trying to do to address a variety of immigration and border security issues. Just 24 hours ago, House Republicans unveiled legislation aimed at both addressing Trump’s priorities on immigration as well as possibly make changes to protocol to address family separation (more on that below).

To add some clarity here given this morning’s (and the last few weeks) comments, here’s where things stand:

On the ‘compromise’ GOP legislation, and the ‘fix’ on separation

Yes, a compromise bill worked out by House GOP leaders, moderates and conservatives addresses the issue of separating parents from their children, through overturning a settlement that stipulates children cannot be detained more than three weeks so that families are kept together but doing so would allow entire families to be detained indefinitely. House Speaker Paul Ryan cited that settlement on Thursday as the reason this was happening in the first place.

But – and this is a key: the bill does nothing to prohibit the criminal prosecution of parents who cross the border illegally, i.e. the current Trump Administration policy that is driving the separation (children can’t be brought into the criminal justice system).

In other words: It does nothing to stop the current policy. It just requires the government to keep them together when in the custody of the Department of Homeland Security.

So here’s the bottom line: the bill touches on the issue, but it’s hardly a fix.

As one Democratic staffer told CNN: “The answer to separating families is not to put them behind bars.”

Where are Democrats on the separation policy and new legislation?

Democrats want the administration to reverse the policy.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi told reporters on Thursday she sees “no prospects” for a legislative fix. Democrats aren’t even talking to Republicans about a legislative fix – neither in the broader immigration bills to be considered next week or in a more targeted manner.

They are going to the border to highlight the issue. They have marched to highlight the issue. This is a very motivating issue for them. But they see the mechanism for addressing it sitting purely with the executive branch.

Is this the fault of Democrats, as Trump has continued to claim falsely for weeks?

No. This was a deliberate policy shift by the Trump administration. They have the power to unilaterally reverse it. It’s legal, no question, but it’s purely the administration’s decision.

The more nuanced point from the administration is that this is something that can and should be addressed by broader immigration legislative efforts, and that Democrats are blocking those efforts. It’s correct that Democrats aren’t in the room on the current House effort. But this is far more a Republican issue than Democrat one. Here’s why:

1. The President’s immigration bill got all of 39 votes in the Senate (the bipartisan effort also fell short of the 60 votes needed to move forward, but received more support.)

2. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has explicitly said the Senate won’t take up any immigration legislation again unless the House passes it and the President is explicit he will sign it (more on that below).

3. The House Republican effort has been a purely partisan one – Democrats aren’t in negotiations, being consulted, or expected to provide any “yes” votes given the conservative turn even the compromise bill has taken

4. Even the GOP-only effort in the House, which is scheduled to be considered next week, is a long way away from having enough to pass at this point.

5. The President, in Friday’s Fox News interview, said he’s opposed to the GOP moderate-negotiated House bill. This is a kill shot to the entire House exercise, whether they manage the scrounge together the votes or not.

Bottom line: The Trump administration implemented the current separation policy.

While it’s designed, as Attorney General Jeff Sessions describes it, to have a deterrent effect, it’s also a negotiating play to try and force Democrats to the table on immigration legislation the President favors.

But Democrats aren’t in the room on those legislative efforts and the President just nuked the lone House GOP effort that had a shot at passage. And the Senate wants no part of this.

So its prospects – and any effort in the near future to prevent families from being separated at the border – aren’t looking good.