Originally published by LA Times
All immigrants who cross the border illegally will be charged with a crime under a new "zero-tolerance" border enforcement policy, Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions said Monday, in a crackdown that could overwhelm already-clogged detention facilities and immigration courts with hundreds of thousands of new cases.
Sessions also said that families who illegally cross the border may be separated after their arrest, with children sent to juvenile shelters while their parents are sent to adult detention facilities. Until now, border agents tried to keep parents and their children to the same detention site.
The draconian new policy is expected to send a flood of deportation cases — and legal challenges — into federal courts. It also could put thousands more immigrants in detention facilities and children in shelters, and is likely to strain an immigration system that has struggled to keep up with a surge in enforcement under President Trump.
"If you cross this border unlawfully, then we will prosecute you. It's that simple," Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions told a law enforcement conference in Scottsdale, Ariz. "If you smuggle illegal aliens across our border, then we will prosecute you.