14, May 2018 | CJP Team
US officials said on Monday, May 7, that the Trump Administration will step up criminal prosecution of parents who illegally enter the country, and put their children in protective custody, Reuters reported. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Thomas Homan, acting director of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said that this is not a new policy, and that the government was building on existing provisions. “We have always separated families under two situations, one when we can’t establish them as a parent and that child is being trafficked,” Homan said, adding, “The second situation when we separate is when we prosecute.” Previously, those detained when illegally crossing the border were frequently deported without being charged. Sessions said that an individual detained by border patrol and handed over to a federal court to be charged is sent to prison by the US Marshals Service, with any of their children accompanying them being sent to government custody, with the Office of Refugee Resettlement. “If we do our duty to prosecute most cases, then children inevitably for a period of time might be held,” he said.