Putting TRAC to Work
  News Organizations
August 2, 2018

Parents Were Targeted Under The "Zero Tolerance" Policy, A New Analysis Of Immigration Data Finds
By Adolfo Flores

When Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the "zero tolerance" policy, he said everyone who was caught crossing the border illegally would be prosecuted. Family separations, the administration said, were simply a consequence of prosecuting all immigrants who were caught trying to enter the US illegally. But an analysis of prosecutions during the weeks after Sessions announced the policy found that during May, US border authorities chose to prosecute adults with kids over adults crossing the border by themselves. That same analysis — by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University — found that only 32% of all adult immigrants caught crossing the border were charged with entering the US illegally that month — an indication that it wasn’t a blanket policy but a targeted effort directed at parents with kids. In May, weeks after the formal announcement of the policy, US border authorities apprehended 4,458 adults with children, the analysis found, while it arrested 24,465 adults without children. Yet only 9,216 adults were referred for prosecution, far fewer than the number of adults who in theory should have been referred under "zero tolerance." Since fewer than one out of three adults detained at the southwest border in May were referred for prosecution, US Customs and Border Protection clearly was choosing to prosecute parents while electing not to prosecute adults without kids, the analysis concluded. "The Administration has not explained its rationale for prosecuting parents with children when that left so many other adults without children who were not being referred for prosecution," the report said.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
Copyright 2018
TRAC TRAC at Work TRAC TRAC at Work News Organizations News Organizations