US mulls prosecuting parents helping children entering illegally

NEW YORK - The Trump administration is considering policies that would prosecute and deport parents who bring their children into the US illegally, The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday.

The policy, one in a series of immigration memos and drafts of possible executive orders reviewed by the newspaper, would take aim at President Donald Trump’s campaign promise to adopt a hard-line approach against undocumented immigrants, possibly widening the scope of who immigration officials deem a priority for deportation.

The memo, the WSJ reported, reportedly indicates that the White House is also considering deporting undocumented non-Mexican citizens to Mexico while cases are considered in court, regardless of their country of origin.

The WSJ also reported that President Trump is expected to issue a new executive order on immigration as early as Tuesday, which would include a temporary travel ban of citizens from the same seven Muslim-majority countries that were included in a previous order that was put on hold by Federal court judges.

That new order is expected to have some significant differences from the original, according to the WSJ, such as allowing green card holders to travel to and from the affected countries.

The memos and executive orders currently under review appear to augment or change previous executive orders signed by the President during his first few days in office which caused widespread chaos and confusion.

Trump has promised to crack down on undocumented immigrants on the campaign trail and after his election, though he’s sometimes sent mixed signals on what his proposals would look like.

While he promised to repel President Obama’s executive order known as DACA, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, he has said in interviews that he would deal with “great heart” those affected by the programme.

Obama’s order in effect gave undocumented immigrants who arrived as children, commonly known as “Dreamers,” a sort of residency and deferred their deportation.

The memo reviewed by the WSJ, however, would target the parents of children in similar situations. It would also do away with protections some Central American children received under the previous administration, which allowed them to be placed with relatives in the US while their case was settled, the paper reported. Many of them were placed with their parents, who were in the US illegally.

The policy under review would try to discourage their immigration to the US by no longer considering them “unaccompanied minors” if they were placed with their parents.

The memo also appears to try to discourage immigrants from Central America, many of who sought asylum in the US because of criminal gangs in their home countries. In those cases, many of them are released into the US while their request for asylum is processed in the courts.

The policy being considered by the Trump administration, however, would direct them to be jailed or detained until their cases are heard or they establish “credible fear” of prosecution.

Asylum cases, however, often take years before they are resolved in backlogged courts.

A White House official told the WSJ the policies were still an early draft and that the Department of Homeland Security had raised some objections to some of the policies.


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