Texas civil liberties groups are already vowing to fight the Trump Administration's new 'zero tolerance' policy for people entering the U.S. illegally with children in tow, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
"If you are smuggling a child, then we will prosecute you, and that child may be separated from you, as required by law," Sessions says.
But Andres Segura of the American Civil Liberties Union calls Sessions' new policy 'inhumane and possibly illegal,' and said the Attorney General has a fight on his hands.
"And really, I think, this will lead to a lot of due process violations," Segura told News Radio 1200 WOAI.
For years, illegal immigrants and the gangs that smuggle them into the U.S. have taken advantage of a U.S. policy that allows people with a child to avoid immediate deportation or incarceration, and instead take advantage of the controversial 'catch and release' program, where the illegal immigrant would be released, sometimes with an ankle monitor and sometimes not, on their 'promise to appear' before an immigration court at some future date. Not surprisingly, few return for the immigration hearing.
The smuggling gangs have taken advantage of this policy, even 'renting' children to illegal immigrants they are helping to cross the border.
The policy led to the 2014 rush of 'unaccompanied minors' into Texas, in which tens of thousands of children flooded the border, requiring special housing be established at Lackland Air Force Base and elsewhere.
Sessions says enough of that.
"We don't want to separate families, but we also don't want families to come to the border illegally," he said.
The number one fear of members of that Central American 'convoy' of illegal immigrants that arrived at the Mexico/California border last week was that they would be separated from their children.
Sessions says the best way not to be separated from your child is not to try to enter the U.S. illegally in the first place.
But Segura says that policy won't fly in the United States.
"We currently have litigation in California on behalf of parents who have been separated from their children while they are seeking asylum," Segura said. "This is just going to be more of that."