By Cherri Gregg

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Department of Homeland Security is considering a proposal that would separate parents and children crossing the U.S. border illegally. The idea has advocates nervous.

The proposal would separate woman and children. Adults would be detained and children would be sent to relatives in the U.S. or put into the custody of DHS. Currently, adults with kids are released pending a hearing. Officials told Reuters the goal is to keep adults from smuggling kids across the border.

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“People are extremely nervous as to what’s going to happen,” said Ayodele Gansallo, an attorney at HIAS Pennsylvania.

Gansallo says they’re getting numerous calls about what could happen if the proposal passes – and more – as new practices roll out from the Trump administration.

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“It’s very hard to give your clients counter information when all of this is happening,” she said.

Sundrop Carter of the Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition says they are calling for resistance.

“This is a completely inhuman and punitive action,” Carter said. “People need to be continuously and publicly showing up at the legislators door steps.”

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Homeland Secretary John Kelly said in a statement that any children detained will be “well-cared for.”