A foreigner can appear at a U.S. border check and claim political asylum. A U.S. Customs and Border agent conducts a credible fear interview, which is basically a prescreening to see whether the claim of political asylum seems valid. If so, the foreigner is put into removal proceedings in order to make a claim for political asylum in immigration court. Normally, that person could be held in immigration detention for about 6 months before bond is set. The rules are changing so a foreigner may not receive a bond hearing. Attorney General Jeff Sessions changed a rule.
There is a major problem with this system because border agents are holding very few credible fear interviews at the border check. A news reporter was at the U.S. border in Nogalas over a weekend recently and reported that one credible fear interview was held on a Friday and none were held so far that day on a Monday afternoon. Foreigners are camped out at the U.S. border check or housed in church facilities in Mexico waiting for an interview with a border agent.
The other option is to come into the U.S. illegally and claim political asylum while in the U.S. or make a political asylum claim to a border agent if captured while crossing. But, crossing into the U.S. illegally is a Federal crime, so parents are put into the criminal system (jail) awaiting prosecution while the children are separated and held in immigration detention.
Generally, there are two divergent views of foreigners who attempt to cross into the U.S. illegally. On the one hand, there are MS-13 gangs and drug runners and smugglers, or people looking for better jobs. On the other hand, there are people fleeing dire conditions in Central America, mostly from Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras. There are some of both. Border agents have the duty to perform credible fear interviews at the border check so the agents can help identify the good guys from the bad guys. The system breaks down when foreigners are not given a chance to tell their stories to a border agent.
Infestation is a word used for bugs and vermin, not people. Separating parents from children should not be a deterrent to prevent families from fleeing terror. The vast majority of families fleeing together north to the U.S. are victims of gangs, not gang members. It’s not just the U.S. Nicaragua also receives a huge number of refugees fleeing from it’s neighboring countries.