In April Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a new ‘Zero Tolerance,’ policy for dealing with illegal border crossings. The policy memo, dated April 11th, states
“I direct each United States Attorney’s Office along the Southwest Border to the extent practicable, and in consultation with DHS- to adopt immediately a zero-tolerance policy for all offenses referred for prosecution under section 1325(a). This zero-tolerance policy shall supersede any existing policies. If adopting such a policy requires additional resources, each office shall identify and request such additional resources.”
NBC News and CNN say that on Friday Department of Homeland Security, (DHS) has confirmed through a conference call that about 2000 children have been separated from their parents from April 19th, to May 31, 2018.
NBC News reports that it contrasts with the roughly 1,800 families separated over a 17 month period until February of this year.
On Saturday The New York Times reported that the driving force behind this new “zero tolerance,” policy was Senior Policy Adviser, Stephen Miller.
The Times quotes Miller as saying during a interview from his office in the West Wing, that “No nation can have the policy that whole classes of people are immune from immigration law or enforcement. It was a simple decision by the administration to have a zero tolerance policy for illegal entry, period. The message is that no one is exempt from immigration law.”
The new “zero tolerance,” policy has faced sharp criticism in recent days as images have surfaced most notably a mural of President Trump from the detention center were boys between 10 and 17 are held.
Starting to get some handout photos from our tour with @HHSGov.
Here’s the Trump mural I mentioned to @chrislhayes inside the shelter for incarcerated child migrants.
Also their beds and the towels they shower with. pic.twitter.com/EPEQ1VGAAF
— Jacob Soboroff (@jacobsoboroff) June 14, 2018
And several religious leaders, have pushed back against Sessions citing the Bible as a defense for the policy, Franklin Graham chief among them.