From the June 5 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
STEVE DOOCY (CO-HOST): Oh my goodness, that sounds terrible. There you have got a number of Democrats blasting the administration for removing children from their families. Is that really happening? Ron Vitello is the acting deputy commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection. He joins us live today. Chief, what is the truth? What is going on on our southern border regarding families?
RON VITELLO (CBP ACTING DEPUTY COMMISSIONER): So what happens is when people cross the border illegally, that's a federal crime. And working with [Department of Homeland Security] Secretary [Kirstjen] Nielsen, the Department of Justice, the attorney general, he's offered to prosecute anybody that crosses the border illegally. That's what's happening. So, all of these cases are being referred, and if it happens to be a family, then they'll be separated during the time that the adjudication for that federal crime.
DOOCY: Has it always been like that?
VITELLO: It happens in other contexts, sure. What's happened now is that the attorney general, Secretary Nielsen has said, “Hey, you will refer all people who cross the border illegally. We're not going to exempt anybody, any class of illegal alien that crosses the border illegally. It's a federal crime.” So we're referring those cases for prosecution.
BRIAN KILMEADE (CO-HOST): So what would happen in 2014 to 2012 if a family came across to breach our border?
VITELLO: Well, it still was a federal crime then, we just didn't have the resources or the initiative to refer those cases for prosecution. We now have a president who believes in border security. What we know in the border patrol is that if you provide a consequence to illegal activity, you will get less of it. And that's what we're trying to do.