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Sunday, June 24, 2018

Causa calls on Congress and elected officials to end the so called “Zero-Tolerance” practice and stop terrorizing immigrant children and their parents.

Currently, under a zero tolerance policy implemented by Attorney General Sessions, parents who cross the border into the United States are prosecuted for illegal entry or illegal re-entry. This is a federal criminal charge, rather than a civil charge and has resulted in parents being detained and separated from their children. There is no law requiring DHS to separate families. The policy the administration has chosen constitutes a violation of international and U.S. law, as acts of torture against children and their parents which will leave scars throughout their lives.

Trump and Sessions can and should stop this horrific practice immediately by dropping these federal charges against individuals and ending the prosecution of those who enter outside of the ports of entry. Indefinitely detaining families in detention camps as Trump’s newest Executive Order dictates is not a solution. It will continue the suffering of families and funnel federal money into private prisons. The Executive Order does not prohibit the separation of family or require the 2,300 children already torn from their parents to be reunited.

Instead, Congress should drastically reduce funding for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and stop funneling funding to private prisons. Each fiscal year, ICE and CBP are given more dollars through the appropriations process. This money is used to conduct increased interior enforcement actions that have been riddled with questionable due process violations and to hold immigrants in detention centers indefinitely. Under Trump’s newest Executive Order, more detention centers for families will be necessary. Many of these detention centers operate under deplorable standards leading to sickness and in some cases even death. Congress must stop funding Trump’s detention and deportation machine.

Congress Members should co-sponsor and push to pass legislation that would provide critical protection for parents and children. The following is a list of current legislation that would provide some relief for families that are being separated at the border and unable to access due process protections in the court system:

  •  S. 3036 (Feinstein D-CA) - Keep Families Together Act
  • H.R. 2572 (Roybal-Allard D-CA)- Protect Family Values at the Border Act
  • H.R. 5950 (Roybal-Allard D-CA) / S. 2937 (Smith D-WA) - the HELP Separated Children Act
  •  H.R. 2043 (Lofgren D-CA) / S. 2468 (Hirono D-HI)- Fair Day in Court for Kids Act of 2018
  • H.R. 6135 (Nadler D-NY) and more than 190 House Democrats- Keep Families Together Act


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