The Trump administration is going to take a much tougher approach in order to keep families from illegally entering the U.S.
If they are caught, new rules will require children coming into the country to be separated from their parents.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the policy at a law enforcement conference in Scottsdale, Arizona.
“If you are smuggling a child then we will prosecute you, and that child will be separated from you as required by law. If you don’t like that, then don’t smuggle children over our border.”
According to stats made available, The Department of Homeland Security has already separated 700 children from their parents since the new fiscal year began.
Apparently, this practice has already been happening but given the Trump administration’s new zero tolerance policy, they expect more family separations to occur. Prior to this, border agents had tried their best to keep parents and children together.
Sessions said that adults would be sent to adult detention facilities, while their children would be put in juvenile shelters, no matter how young they are.
“I want to be clear. DHS does not have a blanket policy on separating families as a deterrent,” said Thomas Homan, deputy director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. “There is no new policy. This has always been the policy. But you will see more prosecutions because of the commitment to zero tolerance” of illegal border entries.
The Trump administration is hoping that this will help curb the illegal immigration cause.
While President Obama was in office, people crossing the border were usually rounded up and then bused back over. This new crackdown by Trump is expected to cause thousands of more people coming into the U.S. to be sent to detention centers.
“This border is not open. Don’t come unlawfully…. Make your claim. Wait your turn,” Sessions said. We cannot take everyone on this planet who is in a difficult situation.”
So far this year, 288,000 people were detained by Border Patrol officers but only 30,000 were charged with a crime for crossing the border.