Attorney General Jeff Sessions spoke out Thursday after a wild week, saying his Justice Department “never really intended” to separate children from their parents while the adults are prosecuted for illegal entry.
“It hasn’t been good and the American people don’t like the idea that we are separating families,” Sessions told CBN News. “We never really intended to do that. What we intended to do was to make sure that adults who bring children into the country are charged with the crime they have committed.”
The Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration-enforcement policy, which was implemented in April and sought to prosecute all immigrants who crossed the border illegally, ended up separating at least 2,300 children from their parents.
Photos and audio of children crying for their parents in what look like cages sparked national furor and bipartisan condemnation, forcing the Trump administration to revise the policy. President Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday intended to detain families together “where appropriate and consistent with law and available resources.”
“We’re going to have strong, very strong borders, but we’re going to keep the families together,” Trump said before he signed the order. “I didn’t like the sight or the feeling of families being separated.”