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Just Security
July 18, 2019

Criminal Prosecutions and Illegal Entry: A Deeper Dive
By Eleanor Acer

In April 2018, the Trump administration announced its zero tolerance policy, making clear that asylum seekers would be prosecuted for crossing the border, and children would be taken from their families through these prosecutions. In the wake of the administration’s announcement, federal criminal prosecutions of asylum seekers and migrants along the southwest border escalated sharply, and over 3,000 children were taken from parents who were subjected to these prosecutions. (The purposeful effort – by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) under the Trump administration – to block asylum seekers from, and reduce asylum claims at, official border ports of entry, led – as CBP knew it would – to increases in unauthorized crossings.) About 94,000 asylum seekers and migrants were subjected to these prosecutions last year, according to government data analyzed by Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC).

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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