tags: Press Releases

Family Separation was Cruel and Didn’t Work: Why Republican Whitewashing of Trump’s Real Border Record Cannot Go Unchallenged

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Frank Sharry: “We need to build a forward-looking and modern immigration system rather than revert to the depravity and failure of the Trump years or taking seriously Republicans who want only to play politics and embrace the indefensible.”

As Republican congressional delegations continued to head to our southern border to stoke fear during right wing media appearances, they want to pretend the crisis is at our southern border instead of its source – in Central America. Most don’t want to even address the policy dimensions of this debate – they only want to stoke fear and play politics. 

When pressed, Republicans’ half-hearted nods toward policy involve re-upping the failed deterrence-only policies of Donald Trump and Stephen Miller and trying to whitewash the fundamental cruelties and failures of the past four years. For example, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) appeared on Fox News yesterday and stated regarding the border and immigration, the “process that worked was the policies that were in place under the Trump administration. Let’s go back to those policies.”

So what were those policies? The most shocking of Trump’s border-centric, deportation-only and deterrence-focused policies was family separation. It remains an indefensible moral stain and an ongoing human rights catastrophe perpetuated by America, as new reports remind us.

New reporting from NBC News and other outlets highlight that parents of 445 kids separated at the border by the Trump administration still cannot be located. Since the previous filing, the U.S. government and NGO allies have located 61 additional parents of children separated from their families. Our government, in our name, took kids from their parents without the rudimentary ability to track their location. As Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-TX) stated on a recent podcast hosted by The Intercept, Stephen Miller “should be behind bars” for his role in “heinous human rights violations,” such as family separation. 

According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice, “Republicans say we should go back to Trump and Stephen Miller’s policies along the border, but those policies they are attempting to whitewash not only failed, but were shocking in their cruelty. Family separation is one of the darkest chapters of any modern American presidency. They ripped kids from the arms of their parents, knowing full well that no tracking system was in place, and knowing full well that incalculable trauma would result. Hundreds of kids remain separated from their families. And now Republicans want us to believe that’s the right policy solution to the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Central America. America is better than revisiting the moral stain of family separation. We need to build a forward-looking and modern immigration system rather than revert to the depravity and failure of the Trump years or taking seriously Republicans who want only to play politics and embrace the indefensible.

Read Frank Sharry’s Medium piece, The Challenges at our Southern Border Cry Out for Durable Solutions.