Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen speaks during a press conference, according to a U.S.-Mexico bilateral meeting on the interruption of TRANS-national criminal organizations in the State Department in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017. ( AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
The trump administration is weighing a policy to separate families, which caught the U.S.-Mexico border crossing illegally as a way to prevent more arrivals, reported the Washington Post on Thursday.
The policy, developed by the U.S. immigration and customs officials, and other Department of Homeland Security agencies, would children in protective custody or with an approved sponsor to expect during their parent institution, in a prison, deportation, officials told the Post.
“People are not going to stop unless there are consequences to illegal entry,” a DHS official told the paper.
Under the current policy, families caught crossing the U.S.-Mexico border illegally are held together in detention facilities or are released, with a date in court, while waiting for a decision on their deportation.
The idea of separated families had been circulating earlier this year in the DHS, but was canned after the proposal has received backlash and illegal migration levels decreased.
According to the customs and border protection authority, when Trump took office in January, the number of people illegally crossing the border came down to the lowest number in 17 years.
But the controversial measure is being considered again, after the number of illegal border crossings, climbed back to the top. In November, immigration authorities 7,000 family units and 4,000 unaccompanied minors detained a-year – a 45 percent increase compared to the previous month, according to DHS statistics.
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen makes the final approval, however. DHS officials told the Post that Nielsen has not yet off on the plan.