It is also a crime. Routine separation of asylum-seeking families violates international law. From slavery to Manzanar, we already know that America is capable of grave moral lapses. In the future, school children will wonder how we, literally a nation of immigrants, stood by and let this happen to children like them.
Part #1 – First we rip kids away from their parents…
At a law enforcement conference in Arizona, AG Jeff Sessions declared that the Department of Justice will try to deter those seeking asylum with a policy of “100% prosecution” of all who enter the U.S. illegally and separating parents from children instead of keeping them in a detention center together. “If you are smuggling a child then we will prosecute you, and that child will be separated from you as required by law.”
Homeland Security is cruelly separating families at the border for no legitimate reason. Immigration authorities have separated at least 700 children from their families, and about a hundred of them are under the age of four.The American Academy of Pediatrics has joined more than 200 child welfare, juvenile justice, and child development organizations in demanding that the government put an end to this cruel policy.
We know the government will bend to public pressure because they have already reunited one asylum seeker with her child after more than 38,000 activists made your voice heard. Now we need to make sure our members of Congress take action to end this cruel practice once and for all. Let’s make sure no other families are ripped apart.
Part #2 – Then we lose them…
Kirstjen Nielsen, the Homeland Security Secretary , stated that the children removed from their parents under this draconian directive would be put in the custody of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement—the same HHS that told Congress in April that it had lost track of nearly 1,500 migrant children it placed with sponsors in the United States.
Could the kids end up with human traffickers or become slave labor?
Oh yes. They already have.
- Two years ago the subcommittee released a report detailing how HHS officials placed eight children with human traffickers who forced the minors to work on an egg farm in Marion, Ohio.
- Other harrowing tales in an AP report include a 14-year-old girl from Honduras forced by her stepfather to work at Florida cantinas where women are expected to have sex with clients, and a 14-year-old Guatemalan boy whose distant relative locked him in his apartment, demanded rent payments, and starved him.
- In November, a whistleblower told Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley that 3,400 sponsors listed in a government database had homicide, child molestation, sexual assault, and human-trafficking histories. That whistleblower had reported this to his supervisors, according to Grassley’s office, but nothing was done to investigate.
Guidelines to prevent this abuse have never been completed. Although the agency started trying to contact sponsors monthly in 2016, ultimately, they stress that they are NOT legally responsible for children after they had been released from its refugee office.
Minimum script: I’m calling from [zip code] and I’m asking Senator [__] to use Congress’ oversight authority to stop separating families at the U.S. border.
More script if you want it: This practice hurts innocent children and should be stopped immediately.
Rep. Julia Brownley: (CA-26): DC (202) 225-5811, Oxnard (805) 379-1779, T.O. (805) 379-1779
or Rep. Salud Carbajal: (CA-24): DC (202) 225-3601, SB (805) 730-1710 SLO (805) 546-8348
Senator Feinstein: DC (202) 224-3841, LA (310) 914-7300, SF (415) 393-0707, SD (619) 231-9712, Fresno (559) 485-7430
and Senator Harris: DC (202) 224-3553, LA (213) 894-5000, SAC (916) 448-2787, Fresno (559) 497-5109, SF (415) 355-9041, SD (619) 239-3884
Other Contacts: http://www.phoneyourrep.com
Taking Children from Their Parents Is a Form of State Terror ( newyorker)