Mary Bauer: Let’s be clear: family separation has not ended.

Feb. 28, 2019 – Mary Bauer is Deputy Legal Director, Immigrant Justice, Southern Poverty Law Center.

The House Judiciary Committee heard testimony  from senior Trump administration officials during a hearing on the administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy, which has resulted in thousands of children being separated from their parents.

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It is shameful that witness after witness from this administration continues to defend these cruel and traumatizing policies of separating children from their parents.

Let’s be clear: family separation has not ended. It has evolved; it has taken different forms and it is still happening.

Right now, more than 10,000 migrant children are locked up around the country without parents or family members. Most have loving family members eager to take them in, but this administration willfully adopted a policy of locking up children in order to use them as bait to deport their parents and other family members. That is abominable.

We have learned of another new scheme in which families are being separated in the interior of the U.S. In some cases, parents with children who were detained and then released at the border were ordered to check in a short time later without their child. At those check-ins, parents have then been taken into custody and locked up.

Today’s testimony makes clear what we have seen on the ground: that this administration has absolutely no remorse for traumatizing tens of thousands of children and families. Worse, they are continuing these schemes and coming up with new ones.

We will keep fighting on behalf of these families until this policy is truly ended and this administration has taken steps to make amends to the children and parents.

The Southern Poverty Law Center is dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of our society.  www.splcenter.org