Nolan: Stop caging kids
Condemning the Administration’s policy of forcibly separating children from their parents at border crossings as “abusive, unnecessary and un-American,” U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan announced that he will sign onto major new legislation to end the practice and speed the reunification of thousands of families that have been split apart.
“Putting young children in cages is not border protection. It is child abuse, and it is time to put a stop to it,” Nolan stated. “As the Administration has freely admitted, this terrible practice of throwing immigrant parents into the criminal justice system, and their children into tents and cages for days and sometimes weeks, is meant to intimidate and instill fear in people who are already fleeing from terrible violence and repression in their home countries,” Nolan added.
The bill is identical to California Senator Diane Feinstein’s “Keep Families Together Act,” being considered in the Senate. In short, the legislation would keep families together by prohibiting the Department of Homeland Security from separating children from their parents except in extraordinary circumstances.
Religious leaders, business leaders, and organizations representing people from all walks of life have endorsed efforts to stop the Administration’s policy of separating children from their parents. Among others these include the Southern Baptist Convention, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, Presbyterian Church USA, Rev. Franklin Graham, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Bishop Eaton, Kids in Need of Defense, Human Rights First, American Civil Liberties Union, Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights, and major businesses including Airbnb and Microsoft.
In another move against the Administration’s “zero tolerance” policy, Nolan has signed House Resolution 927, which condemns separation of immigrant children and parents and officially identifies the practice as “child abuse.”
Nolan further noted that many of these families are approaching the border to seek asylum legally in the United States.
Additionally, Nolan pointed out that the trauma that separation from parents can cause has led the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Child Welfare League of America, among others, to urge the White House to stop breaking up families.
In a joint statement, the two organizations have pointed out that, “Separation from family leaves children more vulnerable to exploitation and abuse, no matter what the setting. In addition, traumatic separation from parents creates toxic stress in children and adolescents that can profoundly impact their development.”