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With No Transparency and Accountability, the Trump Administration Continues to Harm Children In Spite of Overwhelming Concern by Pediatricians

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More and more pediatricians are raising alarm bells regarding the serious and irreparable harm that the Trump family separation policy is having on children.  From the President of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), pediatricians who serve on the American Academy of Pediatrics Immigrant Health Special Interest Group to the president emeritus of the Children’s Defense Fund, all agree Trump’s separation policy “shows contempt for this basic impulse of a parent to protect a child and fosters deep and lasting harm for children.”  

On top of the harm to children and the fear and anguish of parents, the Trump Administration has provided no answers to basic questions from Members of Congress, federal judges, public defenders, and even federal prosecutors and DHS personnel who are tasked with applying this new policy. The officials who are directing all of these actors to implement this radical and controversial policy — Attorney General Jeff Sessions and DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen — have questions to answer. Instead, they seem to be hiding. For example:

  • House Judiciary Committee Hearing with Secretary of Homeland Security Committee Cancelled:  The Secretary of HomeIand Security was supposed to appear before the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday.  Instead, the hearing was cancelled.
  • House Judiciary Democrats Demand Answers:  In response to Secretary Nielsen’s hearing cancellation, all Democrats of the House Judiciary Committee sent a letter demanding answers to basic questions by June 7, 2018, the day the Secretary was supposed to appear before the committee. No answers have been given to date.
  • Police Called to Remove U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley for Seeking Transparency and Accountability:  Senator Merkley requested a tour of a facility — a repurposed Walmart — that reportedly is detaining children separated from parents.  Not only was he refused entry, the police were called to remove him. This was all caught on video.  It is stunning that a Senator, responsible for federal oversight and accountable to taxpayers, is refused access to a facility operated under federal contract and paid for by taxpayers. It is shocking that the contractor called the police on him.
  • No Answers for Parents from DOJ Prosecutors, Federal Judges Prosecuting Parents, DHS, and Public Defenders:  When parents are separated from their children at the border, they are given no answers about who will take care of their kids, exactly where their children will go, how to reach them, and when and if they will be reunited with their children.  There are no answers from DHS who physically separate the parents from the children, and no answers from DOJ attorneys prosecuting and federal judges sentencing parents.

Ur Jaddou, Director of DHS Watch, a new project of America’s Voice, said:

Children are being ripped from parents, parents are given little or no information on the care of their children, they have little or no way to keep in contact with them, and they have no idea whether they will be reunited with their kids.  Yet, this Administration refuses to answer any questions, not even from Members of Congress. The public must know how their taxpayer money is being spent on this cruel and barbaric policy. This Administration must come clean, must open its doors and must be held accountable.