Women and children crossing together illegally into the United States could be separated by U.S. authorities under a proposal being considered by the Department of Homeland Security, according to three government officials.This idea provides yet another way to provide more business paid by the public to the private for-profit prison companies that are already handling a lot of the deportation detentions:
Part of the reason for the proposal is to deter mothers from migrating to the United States with their children, said the officials, who have been briefed on the proposal.
The policy shift would allow the government to keep parents in custody while they contest deportation or wait for asylum hearings. Children would be put into protective custody with the Department of Health and Human Services, in the "least restrictive setting" until they can be taken into the care of a U.S. relative or state-sponsored guardian.
Currently, families contesting deportation or applying for asylum are generally released from detention quickly and allowed to remain in the United States until their cases are resolved. A federal appeals court ruling bars prolonged child detention.
Holding mothers in prolonged detention could also strain government resources, said Randy Capps of the Migration Policy Institute, a Washington-based non-profit.
“You are talking about a pretty rapid increase in the detention population if you are going to do this," Capps said. "The question is really how much detention can they afford."
See also: Adam Raymond, Mothers and Children Would Be Ripped Apart Under Reported DHS Proposal New York 03/03/2017