Advocates Address Trump’s Executive Order and Republican Immigration Bill

Screen Shot 2018-04-06 at 1.28.28 PMFollowing President Donald Trump’s executive order on family separation – which does not end the family separation crisis – House Republicans are set to vote on Speaker Paul Ryan’s immigration bill next week.  Despite the speaker’s claims, the bill would provide no clear path to citizenship to Dreamers and place thousands of children in detention camps for extended periods of time with even fewer standards for their care than currently in place.

Today, experts and advocates addressed the current state and implications of family separations and how the Trump administration’s executive order and the House Republican bill will do little to help the children and parents seeking asylum.

Beatriz Lopez, Communications Director, The Immigration Hub, stated, “The images and sounds we are seeing and hearing of children separated from their parents are not only horrifying, but far from over. President Trump’s executive order will not end his zero-tolerance policy that will continue to prosecute parents seeking asylum and leave children without their care. His sham approach will incarcerate immigrant families, while the Republican response is a bill that will detain them indefinitely. Any Pennsylvania Republican member of Congress who votes for Speaker Ryan’s bill will vote to exacerbate this crisis, which has fast-become a moral stain on our nation’s soul.”

Marshall Fitz, Executive Director, Emerson Collective, said,

“The crisis facing families at the border is far from over. Trump has substituted a policy of immediate family separation with a policy of indefinite jailing of children and families. They are just replacing one form of state-sponsored cruelty for another: child abuse for family internment camps. Likewise, Speaker Ryan’s bill that is being voted on next week does little to address Trump’s cruel policy and the plight of DREAMers. It is not a ‘compromise’ as Republicans claim. With this bill, 80% of DACA recipients will never attain citizenship, 23 billion dollars go toward the border wall, including 7 billion to family internment camps, and includes new severe restrictions on asylum seekers. Neither Trump’s executive order nor Speaker Ryan’s legislation will terminate family separation and both would lead to mass incarceration of families. The only effective and immediate solution is for the president to pick up the phone, call Jeff Sessions, and end his ‘zero-tolerance’ policy.”

Sundrop Carter, Executive Director of Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition, said

“Detaining immigrant families is traumatizing and harmful for both parents and children. We cannot trade one form of abuse for another. We should be opening our arms to these families who are fleeing violence and looking for refuge, not jailing them.”

Rabbi Straus, Main Line Reform Temple (Montgomery County), said

“You do not need to be an expert to know that locking children in jail is unhealthy. I am a child of refugees, German Jews, so this crisis speaks to me as a Jew and a human being. The Jewish people are familiar with the narrative of the refugee, 32 times in the Torah we are commanded to remember the stranger, for “we were strangers in the land of Egypt.” The Jewish tradition demands us to ask, “What can we do to look after the most vulnerable in our society?” Refugees and immigrants are among  the most vulnerable, and our hearts and actions should stand with them. They are not statistics, they are human beings and our neighbors.”

Rita Ross, Holocaust survivor and author of Journey To Happily Ever After (her holocaust story told through the eyes of a child), said

“When I was 4 years old, my mother would be sent out to do some shopping for the family since she looked Aryan. When she wasn’t home by the late afternoon, to my horror I started taking vigil and praying for her return. As a child, I believed I was able to draw her home with my prayers. These experiences I had as a child, the sense of panic and fear, is something I’ve lived with all of my life. I have nightmares. A child’s imagination is easily aroused, and I’m afraid this whole phenomena is going to have an impact not only on children at the border but on all of our children.”


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by Melanie Nathan, a Mom !
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