But the Bush and Obama administrations chose a third: Dealing with immigrants crossing the border with children largely as civil cases rather than criminal.
As he prepared to head to Congress on Tuesday afternoon to debate the "zero tolerance" policy introduced in April, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the state will sue the Trump administration "for violating the Constitutional rights of immigrant children and their families who have been separated at the border". The audio was released amid backlash for the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" immigration policy which has led to almost 2,000 child separations. "The only thing missing is a conductor".
It requires the government to release rather than detain children caught trying to enter the USA and exempts them from an immediate return to their home countries.
Now, her former lawyer is comparing President Trump's zero-tolerance policy to both Nazism and slavery.
"These are crippling loopholes that cause family separation, which we don't want", Trump said. John McCain, R-Ariz., tweeted, "The administration's current family separation policy is an affront to the decency of the American people and contrary to principles and values upon which our nation was founded".
Later, he declared during remarks at a hotel that he had no choice but to remove children from their parents at the border.
"I can go home with my auntie, at least", the girl said, proudly explaining that she memorised it.
Graham told reporters the measure would keep migrant families together, provide additional judges so detained families would face shorter waiting periods, and supply facilities for the families to stay.
The president said he is also going to seek authorization to not give USA aid to countries which "abuse us by sending their people up". Their children are then classified as "unaccompanied minors" and are transferred to the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Refugee Resettlement.
Jeff Denham, a Republican congressman from Turlock, in California's Central Valley, is among those endangered candidates seeking to chart his own path through the issue, even as he is being pressed from all sides by Trump supporters, moderate Republicans, and his Democratic opponent.
U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy III, a Brookline Democrat who attended a rally on the U.S. -Mexico border over Father's Day weekend, meanwhile, spoke out against the Trump administration's policy during a Tuesday morning event at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate.
"Mrs. Trump hates to see children separated from their families and hopes both sides of the aisle can finally come together to achieve successful immigration reform", spokesperson Stephanie Grisham said. The 6-year-old's mother, 29-year-old Cindy Madrid, was separated from her child after they arrived in the USA from a gang-riddled area in Armenia, northwest of the Salvadorian capital.
He, however, offered that he's encouraged by the public's reaction to the controversial policy. "I don't want people coming in".
Mr Trump has declared the USA "will not be a migrant camp" on his watch, saying on Monday: "I say it's very strongly the Democrats' fault".
The uproar over the family separations appeared unlikely to facilitate a big immigration overhaul in Congress that would finally resolve deep national divisions over the issue.
And six in 10 Americans were against the idea of a border wall, CBS News found. Despite these results and the media outcry, President Trump is enjoying higher approval ratings than ever before.