Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin K. McAleenan ordered his staff to stop referring adult immigrants who cross the southern U.S. border with children for prosecution, preventing the Justice Department from prosecuting them, reports the Associated Press.
McAleenan said he issued the order hours after President Trump signed an executive order last week to stop the separation of migrant families. He noted that the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy remains in effect.
The AP reports that McAleenan says he’s developing a plan to “resume illegally entry prosecutions of adults with children.”
Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who announced the family separation policy in April, recently said that federal prosecutors would continue to criminally prosecute adults caught crossing the border.
More than 2,300 children were separated from their families before Trump reversed course on his controversial policy.