The US government is considering forcibly separating mothers found illegally entering the country from their children, according to an exclusive report. Three government officials tell Reuters the proposal is being considered by the Department of Homeland Security. Under current practice, families illegally entering the US are allowed to stay together while legally challenging deportation or applying for asylum. Under the new proposal, parents would be kept in custody and children would be put into protective custody by the Department of Health and Human Services until they can be placed with relatives living in the US or a state-sponsored guardian.
This new proposal would allow the government to comply with a 2016 court order that says children can't be lengthily detained while still keeping their parents locked up. Republicans say women bring their children into the US because they know they'll be released from custody and allowed to live with their children in US while awaiting their court date. But immigration advocates say mothers bring children with them because they're escaping violence and poverty. The executive director of the National Immigration Law Center says this new policy of separating mothers and children "could create lifelong psychological trauma." Read the full story here. (Read more illegal immigration stories.)