DHS chief: Agency may separate parents, children at border

DHS chief: Agency may separate parents, children at border

March 6th, 2017 by Associated Press in National Political

A large crowd listens to speakers during a public dialogue with officials and hundreds of refugees and immigrants at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, Sunday, March 5, 2017, in Durham, N.C. (Bernard Thomas/The Herald-Sun via AP)

Photo by The Associated Press /Times Free Press.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly says his agency is considering separating children and parents caught crossing the Mexican border illegally.

Kelly says such a move would be part of a broader effort to stop families from making the dangerous trek across Mexico to the United States border. He confirmed that he's considering the action during an interview with CNN Monday.

Tens of thousands of parents and children mostly fleeing violence in Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala have been caught crossing the border illegally in recent years. Generally, the families are detained for a few days or weeks before being released to wait for an immigration judge to decide their fate.

It can take years for a case to be completed in federal immigration court.