Jun 25, 2018 - Politics & Policy

Border patrol will stop referring migrant parents for prosecution

A child and her mother sit in front of a fence

Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

U.S. Customs and Border Protection will temporarily stop referring parents of undocumented immigrants caught crossing the border to the Justice Department for criminal prosecution, Commissioner Kevin McAleenan said on Monday, the AP reports.

Why it matters: Attorney General Jeff Sessions can insist that the administration's zero-tolerance policy is still in place, but without the cooperation of the Department of Homeland Security, it's toothless. McAleenan said that he plans to find a way to resume the 100% prosecution strategy, but he currently cannot given President Trump's executive order to keep families together.

Be smart: The order also maintained that the zero-tolerance policy would remain in effect. But DHS can only legally hold families together in detention for 20 days, unless a district judge changes her ruling or Congress passes a law circumventing the Flores Settlement.

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