By Kenneth White
While families who arrive at a border control facility and are seeking asylum in the USA will be allowed to stay together as they work toward protected status, those families who are caught crossing the border illegally will likely be separated, with parents and children going to different detention facilities. In the past border agents would try to keep family units together. Individuals apprehended at the border will now be detained and prosecuted, instead of being bused back to Mexico.
The Department of Health and Human services puts the current number of children that have been separated from their parents before this new policy at 700 or so. The intention of the new policy, according to DHS officials, is to jail adults and try them in court, and to accomplish that the children must be taken away first. They see this change in policy as a deterrent to future illegal migration. Since the start of the year approximately 50,000 families have been apprehended at the boarder, with 9,647 happening in just the last month. Returning immigrants who cross the border illegally could face felony charges, while for first time offenders it’s a misdemeanor under current law.