CGRS Calls for an End to the Cruelty of Family Separation; Joins National Day of Action for Children

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

In its latest assault on immigrants and asylum seekers, the Trump Administration has dramatically escalated its efforts to separate families at the border. Earlier this month, in the span of just two weeks, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) forcibly separated 658 children from their parents under its new “zero tolerance” policy. The children, who include infants and toddlers, have been sent to remote detention centers to face deportation proceedings alone, while their parents have been referred for criminal prosecution of their alleged “illegal” entry or reentry into the United States. The Center for Gender & Refugee Studies (CGRS) condemns this heartless and unlawful attack on children and families and calls on allies nationwide to join us in Friday’s National Day of Action for Children.

As many advocates and experts have noted, separating children from their parents is not just cruel and inhumane. Under U.S. and international law, it is an act of torture with profound deleterious impacts on children’s long-term health. Prosecuting parents as criminal entrants constitutes an additional violation of these families’ rights and of our country’s obligations to refugees. Those fleeing persecution have the legal right to seek protection here and should never face criminal charges for doing so. Moreover, these harmful practices will not advance the Trump Administration’s objective of deterring future migration. So long as the violence and risk of death in their home countries persists unabated, families will continue to be forced to flee for their lives and turn to the United States for refuge.  

CGRS is outraged by this Administration’s unlawful and immoral actions and is proud to co-sponsor Friday’s National Day of Action for Children. We join partners nationwide calling for an end to the cruel practice of family separation and to the inhumane detention of immigrant and refugee children. We also urge Congress to halt funding for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the federal agencies carrying out these practices, among other egregious abuses against children.

Join us and take action!