Our Immigrant Families at Risk: Border Policy, Muslim Ban, and a Broken System

The Trump administration’s attack on immigrants and families has continued in devastating and cruel ways. In April 2018, the administration implemented its “zero-tolerance policy” for migrants crossing the border, many of whom are seeking asylum in the U.S. This policy actively prosecutes and detains those arriving at the border and has been used as the means to separate families. As a result, children have been forcibly taken away from their parents, with estimates that over 2,300 children have been separated from their families. South Asian asylum seekers have also been targeted, with at least 50 South Asians a part a group that has been detained and transferred to a federal prison in Oregon and that has been separated from their children.

The new Executive Order issued on June 20 prevents further family separation, but only after tremendous harm to these families and children, and it remains to be seen whether all the families that have been separated can be reunited. Furthermore, the executive order continues the zero-tolerance policy of prosecuting and detaining immigrants – the source of the crisis on the border – amending only that now children are allowed to be detained with their parents. The intention is to allow children to be detained indefinitely, which is currently prevented by the Flores agreement which prevents migrant children from being detained for more than 20 days.

This week’s Supreme Court ruling to reinstate the third iteration of the Muslim Ban is also the most recent example of the Trump administration’s attack on immigrants and Muslims in particular. The ruling reinstates travel bans from 7 countries, including 5 Muslim-majority countries. It is deeply troubling and discouraging to know the ban upheld despite being motivated by prejudice and discrimination against Muslims, and we are concerned with the precedent this establishes for further anti-immigrant rhetoric, hate, and policies.

SAAPRI condemns the Trump Administration’s zero-tolerance policy, Muslim Ban, and the anti-immigrant values that undergird these policies. We must all come together to oppose these attacks on our communities and on the inclusive American society that we wish to achieve. We urge you to demand that your elected officials take action on these issues and to not give-in to any anti-immigrant policies being proposed for immigration reform. Now, more than ever, we need your support! Together, we must resist and forge a new vision that strengthens the value of all our families and communities.

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