We are facing a national crisis. Thousands of children—some as young as one year—have been forcibly separated from their parents at the US-Mexico border with virtually no plan in place for family reunification. Officials offer a range of excuses for this inexcusable behavior, but it is really a shock tactic executed to punish and deter migrants seeking asylum and to inure the American public to increasingly harsh treatment of marginalized populations.
Help Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) stand up for helpless families. Use our Action Network tool to contact your Representative and Senators right now. Tell them Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is out of control. Tell your Senators and Representative to: Join their colleagues demanding that Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen resign; quickly enact bipartisan and humane immigration reform; defund and abolish ICE—the agency set up after 9/11 that’s terrorizing children and families; and vote NO on any legislation that falls short of the bipartisan DREAM Act.
Protest against ICE in Philadelphia, June 2018 by Sarahmirk • CC BY-SA 4.0
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is a federal law enforcement agency created in 2003 under the Department of Homeland Security, headed by Kirstjen Nielsen. During the Trump administration, ICE resources have been focused on harassing and terrorizing legal residents and citizens of color as well as migrants fleeing unspeakable violence and abject poverty in their homelands.
“With the creation of ICE, Congress duplicated an already bloated bureaucracy. We spend more on immigration enforcement than on all other federal law enforcement combined, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Administration, Secret Service, U.S. Marshals and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives,” according to Cesar Vargas and Yesenia Mata, directors of the Dream Action Coalition.
Update: A federal judge ordered 102 children under 5 years reunited with their families by yesterday. By the deadline fewer than 34 children were reunified with their families. The judge has ordered a hearing Friday to determine how to expedite the reunification process.
Good news: Indefinite detention of reunited families has been denied by the courts, so families are being released pending asylum hearings, with adults wearing ankle monitors.
Better news: Reps. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) and Adriano Espaillat (D-NY) are co-sponsoring a bill to Abolish ICE and replace it with a constitutional mechanism for border enforcement. Sen. Bernie Sanders recently tweeted, “Now, it is time to do what Americans overwhelmingly want: abolish the cruel, dysfunctional immigration system we have today and pass comprehensive immigration reform.”
So we need to keep the pressure on members of Congress. Use our Action Network tool to contact your Representative and Senators right now. Tell them families belong together. ICE belongs in the dustbin of history.
Deb Schrishuhn for Mike F., Donna, Mike H., Judy, Dr. Bill, Janis, Dan, Kimberly, and Bryan—Your PDA National Team
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