A senior U.S. Customs and Border Protection official told The Washington Post today the U.S. Border Patrol will no longer prosecute illegal immigrant parents who cross the U.S. border with children.
The announcement comes less than a day after President Donald J. Trump’s signing of an executive order ending his administration’s practice of separating illegal-immigrant parents from their children in detention centers.
The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said, “We’re suspending prosecutions of adults who are members of family units until ICE can accelerate resource capability to allow us to maintain custody.”
Because Immigration and Customs Enforcement doesn’t have sufficient capacity to hold increased numbers of families, many illegal-immigrant families will likely be released in advance of their court hearings.
The decision to stop prosecution of parents with children was reportedly made by the Department of Homeland Security for “logistical purposes,” because it wasn’t “feasible” to bring children into federal courtrooms when their parents appear in court. The unidentified official said adults who cross the border from Mexico into the U.S. illegally will still face misdemeanor charges under the administration’s recently implemented “zero-tolerance” policy.