Resource: The Trump Administration’s “Zero Tolerance” Immigration Enforcement Policy

By: Congressional Research Service

February 26, 2019

For the last several years, Central American migrant families have arrived at the U.S.-Mexico border in relatively large numbers, many seeking asylum. While some request asylum at U.S. ports of entry, others do so after entering the United States “without inspection” (i.e., illegally)
between U.S. ports of entry. On May 7, 2018, the Department of Justice (DOJ) implemented a “zero tolerance” policy toward illegal border crossing both to discourage illegal migration into
the United States and to reduce the burden of processing asylum claims that Administration officials contend are often fraudulent.