President Trump’s Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has signed off on a plan to separate children from their parents who are caught crossing the U.S.-Mexico border illegally as part of an effort to deter families from entering the US illegally, officials close to discussions on the proposal told The New York Times.
Under current ICE policy, families are kept together while awaiting a decision on whether they will be deported.
The Trump administration policy currently under consideration would send parents to adult detention facilities, while their children would be placed in shelters designed for juveniles or with a “sponsor,” who could be a relative in the United States, reports The Times.
The policy is favored by the White House, and has been approved by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, according to three officials at the Department of Homeland Security and one at the White House who have all been briefed on the proposal but declined to be named because they were not authorized to discuss it publicly. The officials said that the new Homeland Security secretary, Kirstjen Nielsen, who has final approval power, has yet to sign off on the proposal.