Washington. – The US Department of Justice rescinded a Trump-era memo on Tuesday that established a “zero tolerance” policy on the southern border, leading to the separation of thousands of immigrant families.
Acting Attorney General Monty Wilkinson issued a new memo to prosecutors across the country, in which he said the department would revert to its previous policies and gave instructions to act on the basis of individual cases.
“In keeping with this established principle of conducting individual assessments in criminal cases, I revoke – with immediate effect – the directive,” Wilkinson said in the document.
The “zero tolerance” policy means that any adult crossing the border will be held accountable for entering the country illegally. Since children could not be placed in prisons with their relatives, families were separated at the border and minors were transferred to Ministry of Health and Human Services facilities.
While the removal of the measure is partly symbolic, it cancels one of the Trump administration’s most unpopular policies, which has caused more than 5,500 children to be separated from their parents at the border.
Most of the families have not experienced legal persecution since 2018, when the separations stopped, although they continued on a smaller scale.
New US President Joe Biden has issued decrees to reverse former President Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant policies, but it will take longer than that to have a real impact on the changing political landscape.
Some parents of separated children have been deported, leaving many families separated. Activists have called for Biden to reunite these families in the United States.
A recent report by an internal review panel determined that President Trump and then-attorney general Jeff Sessions knew that the policy was a disaster and would include family separation, yet they continued their attempt to curb illegal immigration.
The report also found that there was a loss of $ 227 million in federal funds.