Officials from the city of Tucson, Pima County and local tribes called for an end to a zero-tolerance policy on illegal immigration that has led to the separation of children from their parents. More than 100 local, state and national organizations have demanded the same from the Trump administration.
Rafael Carranza, a reporter covering the U.S.-Mexico border for The Arizona Republic, clarified how the policy is being enforced, including how it applies to immigrants seeking asylum.
Carranza explained that parents seeking asylum who cross illegally are separated from their children to face criminal prosecution. Families seeking asylum at the ports of entry have a legal right to do so, but could still be separated depending on available space in detention facilities.
"If they are being held in detention and there are only beds available at an adult-only facility, then obviously their children are not going to be taken with them," Carranza said.
Children separated from their parents go into the custody of Health and Human Services.