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Immigration Experts and Advocates Discuss Real Solutions for Trump’s Border Crisis

 

A recording of the call is available here.

Earlier today,  immigration experts and advocates gathered on a press call to discuss solutions that would provide a much needed reprieve on our border. As the Trump administration continues to fail to provide adequate solutions, and can only exacerbate the problem with cruel and unjust policies, 33 organizations released a five point plan that could provide immediate and effective relief.

Below are quotes from today’s speakers:

Tyler Moran, Director, The Immigration Hub, said, “Trump is tripling down on his failed policies of hate that cost Republicans the House and now the Senate and Presidency are on the line. Trump believes that if he can make the border look chaotic enough and threatening enough that he can drive out his base. But his base is not enough and if there is one thing that we learned from the midterm elections, it is that attacks on immigrants failed. Polling and digital testing before and after the election found that a majority of voters especially suburban voters and independents roundly rejected Trump’s playbook of anti-immigrant political stunts and rhetoric.”

Ur Jaddou, Director, DHS Watch, said, “Instead of a smart and effective response over the last two years of this growing but manageable issue, this administration dismantled programs that would have prevented the situation we’re seeing today. They instead spent their time and resources taking new action that has made the issue go from bad to worse. Now they are asking Congress for more money and more authority to do more of that same failed strategy. It must be rejected. We have a strategy that can work.”

Jennifer Podkul, Senior Director of Policy and Advocacy, Kids In Need of Defense (KIND), said, “One year after implementing the zero tolerance policy that ripped thousands of children from their parents’ arms, the Administration has asked Congress to amend a law that protects children from human trafficking, falsely claiming this would improve border management,” said KIND Senior Director of Policy and Advocacy Jennifer Podkul.  “The best way to process the large numbers of unaccompanied children and families, however, is to have trained and licensed child welfare professionals at the border to provide screening and care so that we do not return children back to grave harm or even death.”

Katharina Obser, Senior Policy Advisor, Women’s Refugee Commission, said, “The crisis the administration has created at our border – treating asylum seekers as a threat, tearing families apart, and dismantling the entire framework that exists to offer those fleeing harm a chance at a safe and humane asylum process – is a political choice, not a necessity. It is a choice to jail families and others seeking asylum and recklessly expand detention. The administration knows perfectly well it could choose instead to expand proven and cost-effective alternatives to detention with nearly 100% compliance rates, such as the now defunct Family Case Management program. The administration must end the crisis it has created and turn to a better way to treat families seeking safety, a way that both welcomes them and ensures due process and justice.”

Sandra Cordero, Director, Families Belong Together, said, “This crisis is completely manufactured. Calling border crossings a national emergency is really a cynical tactic of the administration to stoke fear and to try and eliminate the entire asylum process in direct violation of  U.S. and international law. This is textbook Trump, to break something and then threaten to close the border, implement policies like remain in Mexico, threaten to cut off aid to Central America, and taking cruel and illegal actions to limit asylum, all while overlooking what is bringing families to the border in the first place. Families are fleeing violence, lack of food and resources and by divesting US aid to these countries and forcing asylum seekers to wait in dangerous conditions, it only makes the crisis worse. We urge the administration to address the root causes of migration, it’s common sense that the humanitarian aid should not be a political game. American voters want our policies to reflect our values, we need to respect immigrant families for seeking what we all want – a better life and better opportunities for our children.”