But even if President Trump doesn’t want to go back to catch-and-release, there are three things that can be done to end family separations for asylum seekers. The first is to allow Central American asylum seekers to make their claims at a port of entry on the Southwest border, instead of telling many of them to postpone their asylum applications, as is the current Border Patrol practice. This will keep families together and incentivize them to enter legally rather than illegally.
The second is to extend the Family Case Management Program to all asylum seekers. This program, which the government recently closed, kept families together in shelters, not separated in cages, while they awaited their asylum hearings. Furthermore, 100 percent of the people in that program attended their court appearances, and only 2 percent disappeared into the US after their hearing — addressing Sessions’ concern of skipping hearings.
The third option is to allow those fleeing gang violence to apply for asylum. This will take some of the pressure off the border by removing the fear that the government could shut down the entire asylum system in the near future.