Families seeking asylum and presenting themselves at official US border crossings will be allowed to stay together as they seek protected status, according to a USA official familiar with the new policy.
"If you cross the border unlawfully, then we will prosecute you -it's that simple".
Attorney General Jeff Sessions became the latest Trump Administration official to visit the San Diego border area when he arrived Monday to discuss the administration's anti-immigration agenda.
Sessions said the USA will put in place a "zero tolerance policy for illegal entry on our southwest border".
"We have always separated families under two situations, one when we can't establish them as a parent and that child is being trafficked", Homan said, adding that migrant smugglers sometimes pose as parents to children that are not theirs. If you are smuggling a child, we will prosecute you.
Sessions noted that the Department of Justice will send 35 prosecutors and 18 immigration judges to the Southwest, equating to a roughly 50 percent increase in the number of judges hearing asylum cases.
"It's obvious that we can not take everyone who wants to come here without also hurting the interests of the citizens we are sworn to serve and protect".
The extreme family-separation measure, which had been reported to be under consideration in March, marks a dramatic shift from current policy, in which authorities generally try to keep detained families together by sending them to the same detention facilities.
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is expected to speak at 3 p.m., Central Time, Monday in San Diego near the U.S. border with Mexico.
"I have put in place a "zero tolerance" policy for illegal entry on our Southwest border", he said.
Individuals who cross illegally will no longer be apprehended and simply bused back over the border without charges, as the Border Patrol has done in the past, especially for people without criminal records or prior immigration violations.