Signalling a policy of zero tolerance, the Trump administration announced a plan to prosecute 100% of people entering the country illegally. As a result of this plan, families will be separated by sending parents to jail and their children to the Office of Refugee Resettlement. Attorney General Jeff Sessions likened a family attempting to enter the United States illegally to a smuggling operation.
“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.”
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has in the past separated families if the adults were prosecuted for a crime. The department announced that separating families is not a policy, but with a goal of 100% prosecutions, more families would be separated as a result. According to DHS, at least 700 children have been separated from their parents over the past few months. Affected children are typically sent to live with relatives or to shelters.
According to the administration, the new policy will only apply to persons arrested attempting to enter the United States illegally. Asylum seekers and their children arriving at a designated point of entry will not face separation.
United States immigration law is changing. The Law Offices of Scott Warmuth provides legal assistance to those wishing to pursue legal paths to permanent residency in the U.S. For a free immigration consultation, call our offices today at 888-517-9888.