WASHINGTON, D.C. — FWD.us President Todd Schulte issued the following statement on the announcement that the Family Reunification Task Force will begin reunification of families this week for those who were intentionally separated by the Trump Administration.
“The Trump Administration’s policy of separating families at the border was designed to inflict maximum cruelty in an attempt to deter families and children from seeking protection and claiming asylum, as is their legal right. This policy was a failure in every possible sense: morally bankrupt, flatly ineffective at reducing overall border activity, terrible for our economy and communities, and a political disaster. Today’s announcement by Secretary Mayorkas – that the first of these families are being reunited – is welcome news, but it must also serve as a reminder of the horrific costs of harsh deterrence policies that his agency must continue to address. At the border and across the country, families are threatened. Tens of thousands of families were separated or blocked from claiming asylum, and the 5 million U.S. citizen children who live with an undocumented family member are at risk every day being separated everyday, as was made clear by the Trump Administration’s weaponization of the long-broken immigration system. Congress’ continued failure to pass legislation that provides a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants would result in the separation of families across our country at an almost unimaginable level.
“President Biden is right to take immediate action to reunite those directly impacted, but the reversal of these policies cannot be confined to the border – it must also include reforming the immigration system to prevent it from being weaponized further, and to block these types of humanitarian catastrophes from occurring again. That means restoring asylum protections and welcoming people with dignity, and expanding opportunities for people to apply to come to the U.S. closer to their homes, as opposed to seeking asylum protections only at the border. And it means providing a pathway to citizenship of undocumented immigrants already living, working, and helping our communities survive and recover from COVID-19. We have a historic opportunity to build a new immigration system that is designed to keep families together and ensure our communities and economy can thrive. It’s long past time for Congress to get this done.”