by Cora Currier, The Intercept

On April 23, the heads of the three major immigration agencies wrote to their boss, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen, to present her with three options for how to step up immigration enforcement at the border. They recommended “Option 3” — prosecuting every adult who crossed the border illegally, including those who came with their children — because it would “have the greatest impact on current flows.”

In other words, top immigration officials believed that prosecuting parents, even if it meant separating families, would deter migration. Following their recommendation, Nielsen signed off on “Option 3,” authorizing one of the darkest dramas in the Trump administration’s attempt to remake the U.S. immigration system, resulting in thousands of families ripped apart, hundreds of parents deported alone, and children scattered in shelters across the country.

Despite the fact that the memo makes clear that “Option 3″ would involve family separation, Nielsen for months maintained publicly that “this administration did not create a policy of separating families at the border” and avoided saying that the goal of the newly aggressive prosecutions was deterrence.

Read the full story at The Intercept.