LOS ANGELES, Aug. 21, 2019 -The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA), one of the nation’s largest immigrant rights organizations, rebukes the Trump administration’s rule changes that allow jailing of migrant families without limits and shred existing protections for children in the Flores consent decree.
With these new rules, the Trump administration shows it will stop at nothing to ratchet its abuse of the weakest and most exposed immigrants. The president has decided torture works and he’s inflicting it on brown children.
Thirty-five years ago, when attorneys first filed the lawsuit that resulted in the Flores Settlement Agreement, children languished for weeks in filthy, makeshift immigration jails ringed by razor wire. The consent decree meant to end all that. But the headlines of the past two years show history can and does repeat itself. A judge said no when Trump tried to get rid of Flores in the courts. He now chooses to ignore her, as well as our entire concept of the rule of law.
Even government agencies have condemned what children and families have to endure in places like Clint and Tornillo, Texas — horrific crowding; no soap, blankets or toothbrushes; inedible food; little medical care. And even though the Trump administration pledged last year to stop ripping apart families, in fact it continues to do this. Now migrant children have their own Trump to fear, in addition to the bogey man and El Cucuy.
The new rules are only the latest component of Trump’s all-out drive for maximum cruelty to all immigrants, particularly asylum seekers and refugees. Flores was a significant victory for child welfare. We will protect it and challenge the new rules, even as we work to turn these basic protections into law.
Willful endangerment of children is child abuse and a crime. What President Trump proposes is immoral. We will always speak up for the humanity of immigrants and defend the rights of our fellow human beings. This is not over.
CHIRLA is an immigrant-centered and immigrant-powered organization working to achieve a just society fully inclusive of immigrants. www.CHIRLA.org