More than 100 illegal-alien parents who recently have been deported intentionally left their children behind in the United States, according to the head of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Kevin McAleenan, in an interview with Politico, said the parents apparently “would rather have their child stay here.”

“They might have a family member who that child can be placed with in the U.S., but that is the parent’s decision,” he said, according to Breitbart News.

The revelation comes amid emotional protests of the Trump administration’s policy of enforcing a law that requires children of adults being prosecuted for illegal entry to be temporarily housed in shelters apart from the parents. President Trump responded to the protests with an executive order that effectively reinstated the “catch-and-release” policy of trusting illegal immigrants to show up at a court hearing.

Jessica Vaughan, policy director at the Center for Immigration Studies, told Breitbart that the “whole point of bringing the kids was to get the kids into the United States to live with friends or [extended] family.”

The parents, she said, often will reunify by coming in illegally later.

“The parents are willing participants in the criminal act of smuggling, willingly putting their children in this dangerous situation, and willingly separating themselves from their kids, and willingly remaining separated,” she said.

Breitbart noted that under President Obama, an estimated 500,000 migrants from Central America were let into the United States, establishing family networks in the country that can raise the abandoned children.

Opponents of the Trump administration policy have cited a statement by the president of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Colleen Kraft, declaring that separating children from their parents “contradicts everything we stand for as pediatricians — protecting and promoting children’s health.”

AAP President Colleen A. Kraft said the Trump policy is “the latest example of harmful actions by the Department of Homeland Security against immigrant families, hindering their right to seek asylum in our country and denying parents the right to remain with their children.”

McAleenan told Politico the migrants can be treated fairly if Congress allows agencies to hold them in detention for a short period instead of releasing them to hide in the population of illegal immigrants.

Trump has asked Congress to resolve the issue.

WND reported earlier this month official government incident reports obtained by Judicial Watch after three years of delay provide a clearer profile of the “unaccompanied alien children” who flooded the U.S. border during the Obama administration and continue to arrive, documenting that among them were admitted murderers, rapists, drug smugglers, prostitutes and human traffickers.

Further, a substantial number of the children were raped or molested en route to the United States or in the United States, and government workers and contractors were among their abusers.

“The Obama administration presided over a humanitarian and public safety nightmare in its handling of ‘unaccompanied alien children,'” concluded Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.

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