AP: Department of Justice rescinds Trump-era ‘zero tolerance’ criminalization of immigrants

AP: Department of Justice rescinds Trump-era ‘zero tolerance’ criminalization of immigrants
Department of Justice, Washington (generic). (Source: AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - On Tuesday, Jan. 26, the Department of Justice overturned a memo from former President Trump’s administration that criminalized immigration across the U.S.-Mexico border, which resulted in many families being seperated.

A new memo, introduced by acting Attorney General Monty Wilkinson, was sent to federal prosecuters all across the country, instructing them to act on immigration cases based on individual merit.

“Consistent with this longstanding principle of making individualized assessments in criminal cases, I am rescinding - effective immediately - the policy directive,” Wilkinson wrote.

The previous ‘zero tolerance’ policy meant that any adult crossing the border illegally would be prosecuted for illegal entry, without consideration to extenuating circumstances. And since children cannot be jailed with their family members, many resulted in being seperated from their parents and taken into custody by Health and Human Services.

According to the Associated Press, President Joe Biden has issued an executive order to undo some of Trump’s restrictive policies, but it will take a while to untangle all the major changes.

Advocates for the families have called on Biden to allow those families who were seperated during the Trump administration to reunite in the United States.

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