All the Wrong Moves. Moms Leader Slams Trump’s New Memo on Immigration and Calls Spying on Protests, as Reported in The Intercept, ‘Outrageous.’
“The new restrictions President Trump wants to impose on asylum-seekers at the Mexican border — including application fees and denial of work permits — are callous and counterproductive. The memo he released last night would make it harder for us to process asylum-seekers and increase the costs of doing so. He is proposing all the wrong moves once again.
“Instead of imposing fees on desperate people seeing humanitarian aid, we should be ensuring that we treat people with dignity and respect. That means in place of detention, the Department of Homeland Security should dedicate more funds to case management programs and other alternatives. These programs save the government money and help ensure compliance with immigration court hearings and orders. Congress has the authority to require such a change.
“Instead of barring asylum-seekers from getting work permits, we should be supporting their efforts to be economically self-sufficient while they seek protection for their families. That would save taxpayers money and continue our proud tradition of allowing immigrants to contribute to and strengthen our communities and our economy.
“Instead of demanding that courts process asylum-seekers in 180 days, we should ensure that the administration protects due process and examines each person’s case in a safe space. The dramatic expansion of the immigration detention system has put even more asylum-seekers before immigration judges without even a basic orientation about their legal rights. We must expand legal assistance for asylum-seekers.
“Instead of using our resources to continue forcibly separating children from their parents, put children and families in cages, and detain families for long periods of time, we should continue aid to the countries from which asylum-seekers are coming. This responsible, long-term support helps stabilize the region and allows governments to address the problems that are forcing people to leave their home countries.”
-- Statement of Donna Norton, MomsRising executive vice president
“And instead of spying on protests against the Trump administration’s policy that separates immigrant moms from their children, as reported in a horrifying story in The Intercept this week,we should be ensuring humane treatment of the moms and families who seek asylum in our country. Our freedom of speech and freedom to assemble are sacrosanct. We must uphold our values. It is outrageous that the Trump administration surveilled protests of its policies.
“America’s moms reject President Trump’s attempts to divide and distract us from his policies to enrich the already wealthy and big corporations while cutting programs that lift working families. As caring people, we join together across racial differences to demand that our country treat all immigrants and asylum-seekers with dignity, humanity and respect.”
-- Statement of Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, MomsRising executive director and CEO