DNC on Trump’s Tearing Children From Their Parents at the Border

Day after day, we are learning more egregious details on how the Trump administration is handling the arrival of immigrant children: separating them from their families without providing guarantees they will reunite in the future with their parents or other close relatives. DNC Spokesperson Francisco Pelayo released the following statement:


“Trump and his Republicans are telling blatant lies when they say this appalling policy is nothing new. Previously, when minors arrived at the border, they would be processed with their parents, and if they were arriving by themselves, they would be handed over to their relatives in the U.S. But this administration has instituted a new 'zero-tolerance' policy that is already breaking apart families — sending parents to jail and children into the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services. These cruel actions must stop. We stand with the families, communities, activists and groups telling the administration to #EndFamilySeparation now.”


See it for yourself:


Since announcing plans to separate immigrant children from their parents, the Trump administration has torn hundreds of kids away from their families.


Vice: “Already, hundreds of children have been ripped from their families: 658 kids in the first 13 days of the program alone, Customs and Border Protection disclosed in a Senate subcommittee hearing Wednesday.”


Families separated at the border often face enormous barriers to reunification.


Houston Chronicle: “But once immigrant families, many asylum seekers from Central America, are separated at the border, they struggle to find each other among the three behemoth federal agencies in charge of their care. Advocates say few procedures are in place to ensure they reunify. ‘In many cases they may never,’ said Michelle Brané, executive director of the migrant rights program at the Women’s Refugee Commission, a national advocacy group. ‘We have seen children as young as 18 months deported without their parents and more commonly, parents deported without their children. Parents arrive in Central America with no idea of how to get their children back.’”


Esteban Pastor’s 18-month-old son was taken from him for more than four months. Pastor was deported and given no word of his son’s whereabouts.


Houston Chronicle: “‘I cried. I begged,’ he said. ‘No one could tell me anything.’”


Another 18-month-old boy was taken from his mother, who presented herself to immigration authorities in Texas order to seek asylum from political violence.  


Catherine Rampell, Washington Post: “‘The immigration officers made me walk out with my son to a government vehicle and place my son in a car seat in the vehicle. My son was crying as I put him in the seat,’ the boy’s mother said in a sworn statement. ‘I did not even have a chance to try to comfort my son, because the officers slammed the door shut as soon as he was in his seat. I was crying, too. I cry even now when I think about that moment when the border officers took my son away.’”


Authorities took a blind 6-year-old and her 4-year-old brother from their mother in Arizona.


NBC: “A woman identified as Ms. G said in an April 23 affidavit that she was separated from her blind 6-year-old daughter and 4-year-old son after crossing at Nogales, Arizona, where the family requested asylum. Her children are living in a shelter more than an hour away from where she's being held. ‘I worry about them constantly and I don’t know when I’ll see them,’ she said.”


A father from Kyrgyzstan was held in California while his 13-year-old son was sent to Chicago.


NBC: “'All I can remember is how much my son and I were both crying when they took him away,' Mr. U said.”