When migrants cross the border illegally with children, the U.S. Border Patrol will stop referring them for criminal prosecution. That's according to The Washington Post, which spoke with a senior official at U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
The move could thwart a central component of the Trump administration's "zero-tolerance" immigration policy, which says everyone who illegally crosses the border should be criminally prosecuted. Whether to prosecute is up to the Justice Department, and technically it can still do that whether border patrol refers cases or not. But border patrol's referrals are central to the current process. A spokesperson for the DOJ told the Post prosecutions would continue.
When President Donald Trump signed an executive order Wednesday to largely stop family separations at the border, he said families would predominantly be detained together. But they might not be detained at all if parents or guardians aren't prosecuted.