LULAC Calls for End to Family Separation
Washington, D.C. - The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) describes this week’s published revelations about nearly 1,500 immigrant children being held in government custody and not with their parents a glimpse into a far larger crisis facing thousands of recent arrivals in the U.S. from Mexico and Latin America.
“Children four years of age and younger are being taken from their mothers and every day families are being torn apart on American soil,” says Past National President Rosa Rosales and LULAC Civil Rights Chair. “We want the Administration to know that we believe strongly children belong with their families or in the community where advocates can ensure their safety and representation,” she adds. "All Americans should be calling their members of Congress and expressing their outrage on family separation in a country that seeks to be the beacon of hope for many".
A NY Times article dated Monday, May 28, 2018, “Did the Trump Administration Separate Immigrant Children From Parents and Lose Them?” states officials learned in 2017 of immigrant children whose whereabouts could not be confirmed, according to testimony before a Senate subcommittee last month.
“Our community has received multiple reports stating that ICE and Border Patrol agents have torn babies from their mothers, run over, punched, and sexually abused children,” said Hector Flores, LULAC National Immigration Chair and Past National President. “Whether it’s at the border or in detention, some of these federal law enforcement officials cannot be trusted with the care of children and their actions must be stopped immediately,” he states.
Supporting these concerns are findings uncovered by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) from 30,000 pages obtained under a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. These include numerous statements of inhumane treatment of children while in government custody.
“What we don’t need now is ICE raiding our neighborhoods and homes under the pretext of looking for immigrant children or agencies refusing to release those children they have in custody,” says Rosales. “LULAC shall not rest until these children are reunited with their families and advocates provided to guarantee their safety and access to a fair immigration court process. We will fight vigorously the use of separation as a form of persecution and the denial of fundamental rights to asylum seekers,” she concluded.
The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation’s largest and oldest civil rights volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with over 1,000 councils around the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC’s programs, services and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting critical needs of today and the future. For more information, visit www.LULAC.org