Since the president signed an executive order to halt family separations in June, there's been a record number of families illegally crossing the border.
Rio Grande Valley sector reports their Border Patrol agents arrested more than 1,900 people this weekend.
- nearly 9,000 people were arrested for illegally crossing into the US and more than 5,550 were family units and unaccompanied children
- 60 cases of fraudulent family unit cases discovered
The feds would detain families for 20 days. Then parents would decide to stay together in a detention center for however long it takes to go to court; or allow their kids to go to a shelter so a legal US family member can get custody of them.
Rice University political science professor Mark Jones said the backlog in US immigration courts means it will be two and a half years before cases are heard.
“If it separates family, it’s seen as being heartless. On the other hand, if it continues catch and release policies, that just encourages more migration from Honduras and El Salvador and Guatemala,” said Jones.
He said there's cross pressures between hardline and more pragmatic Republicans.
“In Texas, it’s actually a little longer. If you’re here in Houston, if your case started today, it would be about two years and three or four months until it was actually processed,” said Jones.
He said the violence, poverty and conditions are so horrible in other places, illegals will risk anything to come to the US.
Before “Binary Choice” would be followed, officials still have to clear multiple logistical and legal hurdles, such as:
- the legality of splitting up families, even if parents sign waivers
- there’s no detention space for a large number of additional families.
- organizing Border Patrol agents, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Department of Health and Human Services officials to work together
Jones said odds are it still won't be successful, as it will still separate families as they decide to give up seeking asylum or having children separated from them for up to two years.