FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
June 20, 2018
Contact: Kevin Saucedo-Broach, 571-336-2147, DelALopez@house.virginia.gov
VIRGINIA LATINO CAUCUS DECRIES TRUMP ADMINISTRATION POLICY SEPARATING IMMIGRANT FAMILIES & CHILDREN
RICHMOND, Va. – Today, the Virginia Latino Caucus (VLC) denounced the Trump Administration’s new policy that separates immigrant families at the U.S.-Mexico border.
This April, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Department of Justice jointly announced a change in policy to criminally prosecute every single illegal border entry case. In the past, these individuals had simply been deported. In just under two months since this policy was implemented, it has resulted in nearly 2,000 children being separated from their families. According to reports, many of these families were lied to regarding the initial whereabouts of their children and about the length and nature of the family separation. Other reports indicate that some parents have been deported without their children, forced by our federal government to leave them behind in the United States.
“Separating children from their parents is not just unacceptable—it’s cruel and un-American,” said Delegate Hala Ayala. “It breaks my heart to see the anguished faces of these parents and children as they grapple with being forcibly separated from one another, not knowing how soon it might be before they’re reunited, or whether they’ll even be reunited before being deported. This is a full-blown humanitarian crisis and not what our country should stand for. Mr. Trump, when did child cruelty become an American policy? This is not the America I know and love. I call on you to put an immediate end to this immoral policy practice!”
“I call upon the Trump Administration to remind them that this is a nation of immigrants. This administration should end this unconscionable policy and reunite these families immediately,” added Delegate Elizabeth Guzman. “To remove children from the loving care of their parents, when all the parents have done is come to the United States, like I did, in search of a better life—it’s unimaginably cruel and an obvious sign that this Administration is more concerned with scoring wins for their political base than treating people with the respect and dignity they deserve as human beings. The long-lasting impact of this separation will be a traumatic experience and will remain on these children’s minds for the rest of their lives.”
“I am absolutely horrified by the Administration’s new policy of separating children from families at the border,” said Delegate Alfonso Lopez. “These families have travelled extraordinary distances under some of the most grueling circumstances imaginable in order to escape violence and seek a better life for themselves and their children. That we would welcome these families by separating them from their children is inhumane and utterly contrary to the American values we all hold dear. This policy does not reflect who we are or who we aspire to be. The Administration has the power to change it. They should do it now.”