The United States Department of Justice has officially communicated this Tuesday to all United States prosecutors that the “zero tolerance” program of former President Donald Trump, which caused the separation of more than 3,000 migrant families, has finally been revoked.
This has been communicated by the acting attorney general of the United States, Monty Wilkinson, in a letter sent to the country’s prosecutors, who are asked for measure when appropriate to prosecute minor crimes for crossing the border, avoiding federal courts and separation parents of their children, but not that offenders can be deported.
While Trump relented and signed an executive order in June 2018 to end the separation of children when their parents were prosecuted, the “zero tolerance” program, under which anyone could be prosecuted for crossing the border irregularly, even for minor offenses, it continued to function.
In his letter, to which NBC has had access, Wilkinson advises prosecutors to take into account other factors, such as “personal circumstances”, “criminal history”, the “seriousness of the crime” or “the consequences of a possible conviction “, instead of submitting to the” zero tolerance “of the previous Administration.
“While policies may change, our mission always remains the same, to seek justice under the law,” said Wilkinson, who recalled that the Department of Justice “has long emphasized” that decisions to bring someone before a federal court they must be substantiated and have evidence.
Wilkinson assures in the letter that a policy that forces a public prosecutor to treat all the cases that come to him under the same law “without taking into account the individual circumstances is inconsistent” with the principles of the United States.
Although the “zero tolerance” program was in effect for only a few months, between April and June 2018, thousands of children were separated from their parents after they were prosecuted for crossing the border irregularly.
The minors, placed in the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services, had few methods to reunite with their parents, some of whom were deported with their children still in the United States.
The legal services that sued the previous administration for the separation of these families have reported that they have still not been able to communicate with the parents of 611 children, separated from them by border officials.
“This action is a good start, but what is really needed is for Congress to repeal sanctions for unauthorized entry that involve the separation of families,” said attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union, Lee Gelernt.
The end of these policies, he recalls, does not solve the problems of families that have already been separated, therefore, “the Biden Administration must bring them together in the United States and provide them with citizenship, resources, care and the commitment that family separation never it will happen again, “published US media.