Sessions says policy may split parents, kids

Sessions says policy may split parents, kids
DHS To Refer Unauthorized Border Crossers To Prosecutors

09 May, 2018

US Attorney General Jeff Sessions warned during a visit to the border with Mexico on Monday that people who enter the United States unlawfully with children will have them taken away. "It's that simple", Sessions added, describing the new policy as zero tolerance. Sessions announced the crackdown in a memo last month making prosecuting immigration violations a DOJ priority. The new policy means all cases will be treated as a criminal matter in which immigrants face prison. So many of these children know no other adult than the parent who brought them here. Family groups caught crossing the US border without authorization will be immediately broken up, with the parents detained and prosecuted for illegal entry while their children are taken away from them. He tweeted in April, "Mexico is doing very little, if not NOTHING, at stopping people from flowing into Mexico through their Southern Border, and then into the U.S. They laugh at our dumb immigration laws".

Previously, families crossing the border to seek asylum would be met by border patrol and usually put under surveillance or given ankle monitors while awaiting their immigration hearing or interviews to assess their situation. "If you don't like that, then don't smuggle children over our border". The DHS said that there have been about 30,000 prosecution referrals since the start of the 2018 fiscal year in October, up from 18,642 prosecutions for the entire 2017 fiscal year.

Immigration advocates say that family separations for criminal prosecutions and other circumstances have already been happening for months. Children, who can not be held in criminal detention, will be placed in the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services while their parents are in custody.

A heckler with a megaphone in San Diego interrupted Sessions. Johnson used a bullhorn to tell Sessions to "get out of my state you evil, evil man".

According to the Department of Homeland Security, 700 children have been separated from their parents so far. "We are not going to let this country be invaded", he said.

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Noting that 11 million people are already in the United States illegally, Sessions said "restoring the rule of law with regard to immigration" will help "reduce crime" in US cities.

However, from the standpoint of the Trump administration, the sheer cruelty of such measures, with infants only a few months old torn away from their mothers, was a positive feature, since it would serve as an additional "deterrent" to crossing the border illegally.

Sessions's visit came a week after a caravan of fewer than 200 migrants arrived at the U.S. border in Tijuana following a month-long trek through Mexico.

The Trump administration piloted this approach in the Border Patrol's El Paso sector, which includes New Mexico, between July and November 2017, and said the number of families attempting to cross illegally plunged by 64 percent.

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