WASHINGTON, DC – More than 2,342 children have been taken from their parents at the U.S. border since May 5 as a result of the Department of Justice’s new family separation policy. FWD.us head of Policy and Coalitions Alida Garcia, who has been in Texas for the last three days working on the ground with groups supporting immigrants impacted by this policy, issued the following update:
“Just over a month ago, the Department of Justice established a new zero tolerance policy that has led to the United States of America prosecuting parents in mass trials and separating thousands of children from their parents. Many of these families are trying to claim asylum as they fled violence and persecution in their home countries. This is unconscionable and it must stop.
“For the past few weeks, FWD.us has been supporting groups on the ground – experts that we hope people will directly support – and for the last three days members of our team have been working down here at the border with these groups in Texas to help immigrants and their families who have been impacted by this horrific policy. We have seen first hand the damage and horror that separating and jailing children and families has inflicted on these kids. We have seen buses filled with shackled parents who are criminalized as a result of the ‘zero tolerance’ policy, all of whom are set to be sentenced for seeking hope, safety and security in the United States. We have heard first-hand accounts from those in this region aware of the regular turning away of families at ports of entry trying to seek asylum.
“We want to uplift local experts showing what the best America has to offer in this critical moment for our country and invite people to support groups like: like Neta, The Texas Civil Rights Project, La Union Del Pueblo Entero (L.U.P.E.), and Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley.
“A cautionary note that as policymakers increasingly offer solutions to this manufactured crisis we cannot accept the false premise that jailing families will solve this problem – and we should be very clear that creating this false choice is exactly what some people want to happen. We continue to call on the administration to end their ‘zero tolerance’ policy immediately and we hope the loud chorus of faith leaders, bipartisan lawmakers, and people across the country screaming for this policy to be repealed will be be heard and the Trump Administration will take immediate action to end this horrific practice.”