In April 2018, the Trump administration implemented a “zero tolerance policy”, which resulted in the widespread separation of parents and children arriving together at the United States southern border between ports of entry. This “zero tolerance policy” mandates the prosecution for illegal entry of everyone apprehended between ports of entry, including asylum seekers.
Under the Administration’s family separation policy while people were in federal custody and being prosecuted, their children were taken away with no clear requirement that they be returned after the prosecutions. This de facto family separation policy inflicts trauma on separated family members, restricts due process, and violates fundamental norms of family unity and decision.
On June 20, 2018, President Trump issued an Executive order purporting to address the family separation crisis that it created by expanding the use of family detention, while reaffirming his commitment to a “zero tolerance” policy of border prosecutions, even for those who lawfully claim a fear of persecution and are entitled to seek asylum in the United States.