ASPIRA strongly opposes any policy that promotes the separation of families and the dehumanization of children. Since the start of the zero-tolerance immigration policy, more than 2,500 children have been separated from their families.
These children are being held in dismal conditions, without knowing when they will see their parents again. This trauma inherently violates Article 5 of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights, “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” We cannot stand with this injustice, nor do we believe that we can we progress as a society when such inhumane treatment is being carried out. On June 20, 2018, an executive order to keep families together was signed. However, the path to reunification remains unclear, and the administration has been delaying the reunification of these families. It may take months for these children to be released to their parents, and for them to see their families again. These current immigration policies reflect a lack of humanity not just in our government, but also among our citizens. Families should be kept together; and the protection of the human rights of all people, especially children, should be a priority. We must reflect on the base values of which America was founded: freedom, equality and refuge. “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” is a quotation mounted next to our Statue of Liberty.