13:46, June 21 235 0 abajournal.com

2018-06-21 13:46:12
Report: US will suspend prosecution of immigrants who illegally cross border with children

President Donald Trump's administration will reportedly suspend prosecution of immigrants who illegally enter the United States with their children until appropriate facilities are in place to house them, according to a published report.

An unidentified senior official with U.S. Customs and Border Protection told the Washington Post on Thursday that border patrol agents have been told to stop sending the parents to federal courthouses to face criminal charges.

“We’re suspending prosecutions of adults who are members of family units until ICE [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] can accelerate resource capability to allow us to maintain custody,” the official told the Post.

The immigrant parents will still be charged with misdemeanors for crossing the border, the official said. Because appropriate facilities aren’t available to house the families, the immigrants will likely be released from custody while court hearings are pending, the official said.

President Donald Trump has asserted that he will maintain a zero-tolerance policy toward illegal immigration, even as he signed an executive order on Wednesday to end family separations. The executive order requires the Defense Department and other executive departments to make facilities available to house immigrants, and also requires the Defense Department to build such facilities “if necessary and consistent with law.”

Justice Department spokesperson Sarah Isgur Flores denied the report. “There has been no change to the department’s zero tolerance policy to prosecute adults who cross our border illegally instead of claiming asylum at any port of entry at the border,” she told the Post.