Sessions says policy may split parents, kids

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"Let it be clear: the Department of Homeland Security's official policy is now to separate families - including mothers from their young children - when they seek assistance at the border between ports of entry", Thompson said in a statement.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Monday that the Department of Homeland Security will refer anyone caught entering the US illegally from Mexico to the Justice Department for prosecution. Sessions is expected to shine a spotlight on border control and the White Houses' plan to crack down on illegal immigration.

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Sessions also spoke about tougher immigration enforcement, with his visit coming a week after the caravan, with fewer than 200 migrants, arrived at the US border in Tijuana following a roughly monthlong trek through Mexico. Apprehensions, however, are again on the rise and reaching levels seen during the administration of former President Barack Obama, frustrating Trump. "If you don't like that, then don't smuggle children over our border", Sessions said, in typically severe remarks. The parents will be held in custody, while their children may be released to the U.S. Health and Human Services Department.

Families seeking asylum should turn themselves into authorities so their petitions can be processed instead of attempting to cross illegally, the official added.

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The Trump administration has made a decision to refer every person caught crossing the border illegally for federal prosecution, a policy that could result in the separation of far more parents from their children at the border. The DHS said that there have been about 30,000 prosecution referrals since the start of the 2018 fiscal year in October, up from 18,642 prosecutions for the entire 2017 fiscal year.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions was interrupted by a protester during a press conference about immigration enforcement at the border in San Diego on Monday.

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In remarks prepared for a speech Monday at a law enforcement conference in Arizona, Sessions says the Department of Justice will take up as many cases as possible.

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