By Caitlin Dickerson, The New York Times

Crossing the border without permission is a crime, but the law prohibiting it has often gone unenforced since it was passed in 1929. Instead, most first-time violators are deported under civil, not criminal, proceedings.

But a debate is growing over whether the criminal law should be eliminated entirely — fueled by an increase in prosecutions that began under President George W. Bush and a backlash against the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy, which used the law to step up prosecutions and to justify separating migrant children from their parents.

Read more here.

Some Democrats Want to Decriminalize Illegal Border Crossings. Would It Work?