Immigrants illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border are subject to a new Trump administration policy which promises more severe prosecutions for unlawful entry.
As a result, families arriving with minors – mostly migrants escaping violence from Central America – are being separated with no guarantee of being reconnected. While parents attend hastened trials in federal court, children are kept in detention centers or are expected to be sent to foster care.
These unprecendented cases are leading to confusion and uncertainty about the processes related to asylum, detainment, sentencing and deportation on the federal level.
Early numbers for the month of May – when the "zero tolerance" initiative was implemented – still show high numbers of illegal bording crossing, according to the Washington Post.
What is the next step for immigrant children and parents involved? How will this new approach to regulating the Texas border impact long-term immigration policy?
- Debbie Nathan, writer for The Intercept
- Jodi Goodwin, immigration lawyer based in Harlingen, Texas
- Erica Schommer, clinical assistant professor at St. Mary's University School of Law
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