Immigrant children in US could be separated from parents

Immigrant children in US could be separated from parents
Immigrant parents and their children could be separated by the US government, to 'deter' future illegal migration, Washington has said.
2 min read
07 March, 2017
Trump and Kelly have been working to reduce immigration to the US [Getty]

Immigrant children in the US could be separated from their parents, a leading official in the Trump government said on Monday.

The proposed law would be intended to "deter" illegal immigration to the US, according to Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, and would see children split from their parents if they were caught trying to enter the US illegally.

"I would do almost anything to deter the people from Central America to getting on this very, very dangerous network that brings them up through Mexico into the United States," Kelly told CNN.

"We have tremendous experience in dealing with unaccompanied minors." 

Currently, the children are sent to their parents or other relatives in the US - or foster parents - but the new law would see them taken away to "deter" future illegal immigration.

"Yes, I am considering, in order to deter more movement along this terribly dangerous network, I am considering exactly that. They will be well-cared for as we deal with their parents."

The news comes as Donald Trump announced a revision to his controversial "Muslim ban", which leaves six nationalities barred from entering the US.

Iraq was withdrawn from the new plan.

Trump ran an anti-immigration campaign during last year's presidential election and promised to build a wall on the border with Mexico.

Police have also launched a wave of raids across the country to catch undocumented immigrants.

Agencies contributed to this story.