Trump Administration's 'Zero Tolerance' Immigration Enforcement Policy [Updated February 2, 2021] [open pdf - 1MB]
From the Introduction: "In recent years, Central American migrant families have been arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border in relatively large numbers, many seeking asylum. While some request asylum at U.S. ports of entry, others do so after attempting to enter the United States illegally between U.S. ports of entry. On May 7, 2018, then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Department of Justice (DOJ) implemented a 'zero tolerance' policy toward illegal border crossing, both to discourage illegal migration into the United States and to reduce the burden of processing asylum claims that Trump Administration officials contended are often fraudulent. Under the zero tolerance policy, DOJ prosecuted 100% of adult aliens apprehended crossing the border illegally, making no exceptions for whether they were asylum seekers or accompanied by minor children. [...] This report briefly reviews the statutory authority for prosecuting persons who enter the United States illegally and the policies and procedures for processing apprehended illegal border entrants and any accompanying children. It explains enforcement policies under past administrations and then discusses the Trump Administration's zero tolerance policy on illegal border crossers and the attendant family separations. The report concludes by presenting varied policy perspectives on the zero tolerance policy and briefly reviews recent related congressional activity."
CRS Report for Congress, R45266
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/