For Immediate Release
June 6, 2018
Washington, D.C. — Emgage Action strongly condemns the Trump Administration’s inhumane separation of immigrant children from their parents and calls upon members of Congress to swiftly take action to protect families that are escaping persecution or natural disasters. International law guarantees the right to seek asylum and protects family unity and as Americans, we pride ourselves on upholding these values in our own country. In a recent speech, Attorney General Sessions stated “If you’re smuggling a child, then we’re going to prosecute you, and that child will be separated from you, probably, as required by law…it’s not our fault that somebody does that.”
Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy has led to an exponential rise in the number of separations of children from their parents.. Additionally, reports of abuse against these children have surface, including allegations of sexual assault and physical abuse. Under U.S. law, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is responsible for holding unaccompanied minors for no more than 48 hours. However, there have been cases of children being held for much longer and many of these facilities do not have adequate accommodations.
With at least 600 children taken from their parents last month and over 1,500 unaccompanied minors unaccounted for, utilizing family separations as a deterrent for some of the world’s most vulnerable people is abhorrent. According to National Public Radio,the previous administration kept parents and children together in family detention centers or released them into the U.S. to wait for their immigration court dates
Wa’el Alzayat, CEO of Emgage Action, said: “Aside from breaking with past practices of keeping families together, there is no legal justification for this policy. This Administration continues to scapegoat and attack the most vulnerable. Human beings seeking asylum from violence or natural disasters deserve our compassion, not further persecution.”
Congress and immigrant rights advocates are all taking action to put a halt to family separations. There are five bills currently in Congress: H.R. 2572 (Protect Family Values at the Border Act); S. 2937 and H.R. 5950 (HELP Separated Children Act); and S. 2468 and H.R. 2043 (Fair Day in Court for Kids Act of 2018).
From the Muslim Ban to ending DACA to the revoking of Temporary Protective Status for hundreds of thousands of people, our nation’s immigration and refugee policy is facing an unprecedented crisis thanks to Trump’s xenophobic and mean-spirited agenda. Our nation has a proud history of welcoming immigrants and refugees and we are committed to restoring that tradition and upholding our values.
For more information, contact Iman Awad at firstname.lastname@example.org