Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said Sunday that the United States does not have a policy of separating children and parents at the southern U.S. border, but in explaining the policies being enforced, Nielsen reveals she is simply splitting hairs.
Under the Trump administration, the Justice Department has a goal of prosecuting every border crossing between ports of entry, meaning everyone – whether or not they have children with them – will be charged and sent to federal court.
In situations where children are involved, those minors will be handed over to Health and Human Services for care until the opportunity arises to be reunited with their families.
As such, by prosecuting all illegal crossings without exception or consideration for individual circumstances, the Trump administration’s policy is to separate children from parents who have crossed the border illegally.
A segment on Fox & Friends explaining the policy is correct to note that individuals arriving at ports of entry will not be separated from their families, barring exigent circumstances regarding the child’s safety.
But it is disingenuous to say the Justice Department’s “zero-tolerance” policy does not include the intentional separation of families.