ILAP Statement on Family Separation and Detention
The President signed an Executive Order (EO) today in response to the MASSIVE outcry of people like you who are horrified and angered by the unprecedented separation of children from their parents at the border. You should sit with that for a moment. Our voices DO matter.
However, the EO the President signed directs the government to detain entire families, indefinitely. It directs the government to build more family detention centers. It directs the government to challenge a legal agreement stating that children cannot be detained for lengthy periods of time.
There are many more humane and less costly alternatives to detention. The administration is acting as though those don't exist, and instead is insisting on continuing its "zero tolerance" policy.
Moreover, many of the families being separated and who will now be detained as a family are seeking asylum. There is an entire area of civil immigration law dedicated to adjudicating these cases, and families seeking asylum should be allowed to go through that process.
Finally, the EO mentions nothing about the thousands of children separated from their parents, who have no way of knowing where their children are.
There are two anti-immigrant bills up for vote tomorrow in the House of Representatives. HR 4760 does not provide a pathway to status for DACA recipients, will undermine asylum and unaccompanied children protections, and will increase family detention. HR 6136 will increase detention of families and children and will undermine asylum and unaccompanied children protections. Neither bill solves the humanitarian crisis of family separation nor the indefinite detention of families.
Call the Maine congressional delegation and demand that they speak out against massive family detention, vote against those two anti-immigrant bills, and support the Keep Families Together Act. As you’ve seen, you can make a huge difference!