by Cora Currier and Ryan Devereaux, The Intercept
Appearing before a group of concerned faith leaders in mid-June, Attorney General Jeff Sessions offered words of reassurance. For weeks, the national media had focused its attention on Sessions’s “zero tolerance” initiative, a border enforcement strategy, which by that point had separated thousands of migrant children — including babies and toddlers — from their parents. “Please note, church friends, that if the adults go to one of our many ports of entry to claim asylum, they are not prosecuted and the family stays intact pending the legal process,” Sessions said.
Four days later, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, offered more of the same at a White House press conference: “DHS is not separating families legitimately seeking asylum at ports of entry. If an adult enters at a port of entry and claims asylum, they will not face prosecution for illegal entry. They have not committed a crime by coming to the port of entry.”
Immigration attorneys and journalists on the border responded forcefully, arguing that the nation’s ports had become increasingly locked down with Donald Trump’s election, and that the problem had worsened with the onset of “zero tolerance.” Now, nearly four months later, a report from Nielsen’s own department indicates the advocates and reporters were right, and that the secretary and the attorney general were lying.
Read the full story at The Intercept.