The head of U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced Monday the agency has temporarily stopped referring adults who cross the Mexican border with children to prosecutors.
Customs and Border Protection commissioner Kevin K. McAleenan said he ordered border agents not to refer families to the Justice Department for criminal prosecution until the two agencies can reach an agreement on a policy that allows parents to be prosecuted without being separated from their children.
As a result of the decision families will be released and ordered to return later for a court date because Immigration and Customs Enforcement lacks necessary detention space for families.
Both McAleenan and White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said the decision didn’t indicate a change in the “zero tolerance” immigration policy enacted by President Donald Trump’s administration.
“We’re not changing the policy. We’re simply out of resources,” Sanders said.