Fourth Child from Asylum-Seeking Family Dies in U.S. Custody. How Many More Are At Risk?
“We were deeply saddened to learn that a 2 ½-year-old toddler from Guatemala who was held at the United States/Mexican border died while in U.S. custody. He is the fourth child from an asylum-seeking family to die here so far this year and we fear he will not be the last. This tragic death underscores the imperative for the Trump administration to do much more to address the humanitarian crisis our country is facing, to prioritize the health, safety and human rights of asylum-seekers, and to treat every migrant with dignity and respect.
“We demand that the cruel, immoral separation of families stop and every child be reunited with his or her mom or family member. In the 2019 funding bill, Congress gave the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) more than enough funds to humanely, safely, and efficiently process and support families and children at our borders. We call on the administration to use these funds to improve health care and overall treatment of all asylum-seekers by funding non-profit and faith-based organizations with proven track records in serving immigrant communities. These organizations are already in place and ready to help at the border. With government support, they can quickly mobilize to expand the community-based housing programs that asylum-seeking families with children need. We call for an immediate, permanent end to the jailing of families.
“We call, as well, on President Trump and his aides to stop scapegoating asylum-seekers and abandon the proposal floated yesterday, which would replace family-based immigration with a point-based system that would favor the wealthy and highly skilled. And we reject the proposal, reported this morning, that the administration may invoke the Insurrection Act to allow deployment of the military to remove asylum-seekers.
“We urge lawmakers to continue aid to the countries from which asylum-seekers are coming. Responsible, long-term support can help stabilize the region and allow governments to address the problems that are forcing people to leave their home countries.
“America’s moms reject the Trump administration’s cruel, callous immigration policies. All children deserve to pursue their dreams surrounded by the love of their family. President Trump is trying to generate fear of immigrants in order to distract us from the fact he is giving tax breaks to the wealthy and big corporations while proposing cuts to programs like Medicaid and Medicare that lift working families. By joining together, we can make our country a place that honors all families. No exceptions.”