Washington D.C. [U.S.A.], Mar. 7 (ANI): U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly has confirmed that the department is considering separating children from their parents at the border to deter illegal immigration.
"Yes, I'm considering (that), in order to deter more movement along this terribly dangerous network. I am considering exactly that. They will be well cared for as we deal with their parents. ... It's more important to me. to try to keep people off of this awful network," Kelly told CNN.
"We have tremendous experience of dealing with unaccompanied minors. We turn them over to (Health and Human Services) and they do a very, very good job of putting them in foster care or linking them up with parents or family members in the United States," he added.
Earlier, a senior said that the department was considering a proposal to separate children from adults when they are trying to enter the country illegally at the southern border and that this move is meant to deter the exploitation of children.
Currently, when adults enter the country accompanied by children, they are generally released into the U.S. and able to stay in the country, pending disposition of their cases, the official said.
The proposal would allow the U.S. immigration officials to separate children from the adults they came here with. The adults could be kept in detention, and the children could be moved elsewhere under protected status, possibly with family members already in the country or to state protective custody such as child protective services.
CNN earlier reported that Leon Fresco, a former DOJ official in President Barack Obama's administration, said the previous administration considered, but ultimately rejected, the move.
"It was never implemented because the idea was that it was too detrimental to the safety of the children to separate them from their parents, and the thinking was it was always preferable to detain the family as a unit or release the family as the unit," Fresco said. (ANI)