>> Mothers and children crossing into the US illegally could be forcibly separated at the border under a proposal being considered by the Trump administration, Julia Edwards Ainsley has the exclusive.>> According to minutes of a meeting obtained by Reuters, the Department of Homeland Security is considering separating women and children when they come across the border, because they think that it would deter future migration.
>> Separating mother from child would also help DHS comply with President Trump's order requiring illegal migrants who are awaiting a court date to be kept behind bars. Courts have ruled immigrant children can not be held for long periods in detention, under the new policy, mothers would be held while their children would be turned over to a government protective agency.
>> And then they're really treated as if they did not come across the border with a parent at all, they try to find a US relative or some other state sponsored guardian, which could end up being like a foster care system.>> An idea sure to be blasted by immigrant advocates.
>> Overwhelmly, the response has been that this is inhumane and just goes way over the line of what should be used in reasonable immigration enforcement. The Trump administration sees this a bit differently though, the Department of Homeland Security said that any parent who was found to have sponsored, or facilitated the smuggling of a child, that those parents could be criminally charged for facilitating that.
>> The question of what to do about children brought into the US illegally, known as dreamers, has been at the center of the national immigration debate. President Obama exempted such children from deportation under a program known as DACA. In his campaign, Donald Trump said he would scrap the DACA program, but as President he has so far left it untouched.