President Donald Trump is reportedly considering signing an executive order which would end the current practice separating children from their parents when they attempt to illegally cross the border into the United States.
The practice is part of a "zero-tolerance" policy at the border, where people who are suspected of illegally entering the country are prosecuted to the full extent of the law. The new policy is part of the Trump administration's efforts to end illegal immigration and fulfill a campaign promise to enforce the immigration laws on the books. Under the Obamaadministration, families detained at the border were referred to civil deportation proceedings, which did not require parents to be separated from their children. Now, all adults, even if they have children with them, are taken into custody by the U.S. Marshals Service for prosecution while their children are taken to facilities run by the Department of Health and Human Services.
Even though the zero-tolerance policy has resulted in sharp rebukes from Democrats, the media and a few Republicans, the Trump administration has defended the policy and blamed Democrats for the current crisis at the border.
An executive order is not the only solution Trump is considering. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen advised the president to throw his support behind a narrow Republican bill making its way through Congress that would close the "loopholes" that allow border agents to separate children from their parents.
DHS reported that 2,300 minors have been separated from their families at the border from May 5 through June 9.
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