Congress Must Defund the Programs Homeland Security Is Using to Separate and Incarcerate Families
“It has become increasingly and painfully clear that the cruelty the Trump administration is inflicting on asylum-seeking families is unprecedented, unthinkable and utterly unacceptable. Today’s House Oversight Committee hearing on the damage caused by the administration’s family separation policy is a stark reminder that our government is violating the fundamental human rights of vulnerable families and putting countless moms and children at risk for trauma and long-term emotional and mental health problems. As Congress negotiates the budget for the Department of Homeland Security, it must defund the programs that separate and incarcerate families and instead ensure that the Department will treat all immigrants with dignity and compassion going forward.
“A federal judge ruled that all families torn apart at the border should have been reunited more than six months ago. Instead, we now know that family separation is ongoing and thousands more families have been torn apart than was previously known. Even worse, due to poor tracking we do not even know how many children are still wondering when or if they will see their parents again. And even families that have been reunited remain in family incarceration compounds, which research shows can cause children long-term developmental harm.
“The agencies responsible for this human rights disaster must be held accountable. We demand Congress defund programs that separate and incarcerate families and instead institute case management supervision programs, such as the Family Case Management Program, which the Trump administration terminated in 2017. It gave families the dignity of freedom while ensuring they had their day in court.
“Putting children in cages, with or without their families, is traumatizing, plain and simple. Everyone deserves safety, respect and compassion, regardless of where they were born. We must take every possible step to ensure nothing like this ever happens again.”