The Trump administration is enforcing a “zero tolerance” immigration policy and criminally charging thousands of people for illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border — an offense that was typically tried in civil court under previous administrations.
As a result, more than 2,000 migrant children have been separated from their parents who were jailed between April and May, drawing widespread condemnation from lawmakers across the aisle.
President Trump reversed course on separating families Wednesday shortly after this interview as political pressure and public outcry grew to a fever pitch. In an executive order, the President said that families would instead be detained together and that the administration will "rigorously" enforce immigration laws.
Family separation may have lasting and traumatic effects on immigrant children, according to Maria Woltjen, founder and executive director of the Young Center for Immigrant Children's Rights at the University of Chicago Law School.
GUEST: Maria Woltjen, Founder and Executive Director of the Young Center for Immigrant Children's Rights
LEARN MORE: What We Know: Family Separation And 'Zero Tolerance' At The Border (NPR 6/19/18)
Trump Resisting a Growing Wrath for Separating Migrant Families (New York Times, 6/18/18)