Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen spoke to thousands of law enforcers in New Orleans this week at the National Sheriffs’ Conference, congratulating themselves on Trump’s new “zero-tolerance” policy of separating families at the U.S. border. Meanwhile, thousands of terrified children sat in cages, unaware of where their parents had been taken, or when they would be reunited. 
 
The ACLU stands with the New Orleans City Council in its resolution denouncing Trump’s policy of separating families at the border.
 
One of biggest human rights violations in American history is happening right now at our border. Moreover, this atrocity is not innate to only border states, many parents are being detained here in Louisiana. But there isn’t actually any law on the books that requires parents and children to be separated upon arriving in the United States. These human rights violations are a direct result of the Trump administration’s immoral policy choices. In just six weeks, DHS has separated nearly 2,000 children from their parents. 
 
Families crossing the border into the U.S. are seeking asylum from the violence they face daily at home. They cross over seeking respite from gang violence and extreme poverty, only to have more stress and trauma inflicted on them by the federal government. Children are being kept in cages at these detention centers, which are converted warehouses and big box stores. With the lack of social workers present or resources available for the children, older children are having to care for the younger more defenseless ones.
 
We aren’t going to let this happen without a fight: the ACLU is working tirelessly for the immediate reunion of thousands of children and parents through our class-action lawsuit. But we need your help to bring this fight to Washington D.C.
 
 
Separating children — some younger than a year old — can inflict lifelong trauma and even change children’s brain chemistry.  The American Academy of Pediatrics denounced the policy stating it can trigger "psychological distress, anxiety, and depression."  Since Trump enacted this draconian zero-tolerance policy in April, the DHS has ripped 66 children per day from their parents’ arms. 
 
We have to reject the narrative of fear and hatred that this policy embodies. We have to stand up for American values, and tearing families apart is not one of them.  
 

 

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