Huffington Post - Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said that he’s considering splitting children from their parents if they arrive at the U.S.-Mexico border without authorization.
“I would do almost anything to deter the people from Central America to getting on this very, very dangerous network that brings them up through Mexico into the United States,” Kelly said on CNN’s “The Situation Room,” confirming a report that the policy shift was under consideration.
The government has struggled since 2014 to deal with a larger number of mothers and children coming to the U.S. from Central America without authorization, many of them seeking asylum based on violence in their native countries. Former President Barack Obama attempted to stem the tide in part through detaining mothers and children, a highly controversial practice. President Donald Trump’s administration is considering even harsher measures.
The government is required to place undocumented children in the least restrictive setting possible, which has posed a problem when determining what to do with children traveling with their parents. Unaccompanied minors are transferred to the Department of Health and Human Services, which Kelly said does “a very, very good job of putting them in either foster care or linking them up with parents or family members in the United States.”