June 20, 2018

Speaker Heastie Statement Calling on President Trump to End Cruel Policy of Separating Migrant Children from their Families

All across the nation, Americans are horrified and heartbroken by the inhumane treatment of migrant children. Families desperate for our help, fleeing violence and seeking asylum have reached our border only to have their families torn apart.

From the misguided plan to construct a wall at our nation's border to using Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agents to intimidate people in civic spaces, the Trump administration has consistently and shamelessly targeted vulnerable immigrants and used them as scapegoats.

Now, his administration has resorted to taking innocent migrant children from their parents and holding them in cages in detention facilities. This is an inexcusable effort to use children as political pawns to push his xenophobic and regressive immigration policies.

The heartless and senseless separation of migrant children from their parents does not represent who we are as a country. It's an affront to our values. This is not an issue of "law and order." It is about morals and integrity. Right versus wrong.

As a father, my heart aches for these parents and fears for the irreparable emotional trauma being inflicted on these children. We can and must do better.

Across the board, child welfare experts agree that keeping parents and children together is the best practice for children.

That is why my colleagues and I in the Assembly Majority call on President Trump to rescind this unethical and inhumane policy.

We have always believed in putting families first - never tearing them apart.