The Department of Homeland Security is considering a proposal to separate women and children who illegally cross the U.S. border together in an effort to deter undocumented immigration, a senior Homeland Security official confirmed to ABC News.
The plan was first reported Friday by Reuters, which noted that "part of the reason for the proposal is to deter mothers from migrating to the United States with their children."
"It is something that is being considered," the Homeland Security official said.
In a statement to ABC15 on Friday evening, DHS officials said, "The journey north is a dangerous one with too many situations where children - brought by parents, relatives or smugglers - are often exploited, abused or may even lose their lives. With safety in mind, the Department of Homeland Security continually explores options that may discourage those from even beginning the journey."