Americans are angry over child separations at the border, despite a concerted PR effort by the Trump administration to pretend they’ve got things under control and act like there’s “nothing to see here.”
Ahead of tomorrow’s court-ordered deadline to reunify families, the Trump administration is trying to spin their foot-dragging, cruelty, and failures in a positive light. While it’s of course a positive development that hundreds of additional families are being reunited, it is increasingly clear that hundreds of others will not be, including 463 parents who were deported without their children.
Our view is clear: All families deserve to be reunified. Those deported should be brought back to America and reunited with their children here to pursue their asylum claims. Authorities with experience in evaluating what is in the best interests of children should be charged with determining if any reunifications would put the child in harm’s way. The notion that the Trump administration should take it upon themselves to decide which families are “eligible” for reunification is outrageous. The same administration that took children from parents is disqualified from determining should not what’s in the best interest of their victims.
Meanwhile, disturbing audio obtained by CNN provides a visceral reminder why this administration’s cruel family separation policy has generated so much outrage. As Tal Kopan writes:
Newly obtained audio reveals the anguish of parents separated from their children, as it pours from them in immigration court while a judge finds them ineligible to stay in the United States…two women who have been separated from their children plead with an immigration judge to reunite them, as he asks them if they have any evidence to back up their asylum claims. (listen to the disturbing audio here)
According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice:
No amount of happy talk and spin should distract attention from the fact that this administration has taken thousands of kids from their parents and is about to fail to meet the court-ordered deadline to reunite them. Now, the same people responsible for this morally reprehensible scandal have the audacity to say that it’s up to them decide which kids are ‘eligible’ for reunification. The unfit actors in this ongoing moral catastrophe are the Trump administration and their enablers, not the parents who are seeking a better life. Judge Sabraw has ordered the reunification of all families, the deadline is tomorrow, and no amount of goalpost-shifting, fast-talking and excuse-making is acceptable.