Schumer, Pelosi Urge President Trump To Immediately Take All Necessary Steps To Reunite The More Than 2,300 Children Currently In Gov’t Custody Separated From Their Families

June 21, 2018

In a New Letter To President Trump, Democratic Leaders Urge President Trump To Exhaust All Resources Necessary To Reunite Families Separated At The Border — Dems Say Any Delay in Doing So Is Unacceptable 

In The Wake Of President Trump’s Executive Order To Keep Families Together At The Border, The Administration Has Done Nothing To Begin The Process Of Reunifying Families That Have Already Been Separated

Schumer, Pelosi To Pres Trump: Your Executive Order Is Meaningless Unless You Immediately Reunite These Families

Washington, D.C. – Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) today released a new letter to President Donald Trump urging him to exhaust all necessary resources in order to reunite the more than 2,300 children who have been separated from their families. Following President Trump’s executive order to keep families together at the border, the Department of Health and Human Services did not immediately begin to take all the necessary steps to reunite these children with their families. In the letter, the Democratic leaders expressed their dismay at the Trump administration’s lack of action, explained the urgency behind the need to reunite these children with their families, and urged President Trump to present a plan of action to Congress in order to immediately begin the process of family reunification.

The text of the letter can be found below: 

Dear Mr. President,

For the last several weeks, Americans of all political stripes have been appalled by the sounds and images of young children who were separated from their parents.  That is why we were deeply dismayed to hear, in the wake of your executive order, that the Department of Health and Human Services would not immediately begin to take all necessary steps to reunite the more than 2,300 children who have been separated from their families.

It seems that the administration lacks a plan, intention, and a sense of urgency to begin reuniting these children – many of whom have suffered serious emotional anguish – with their parents.  Children’s health experts, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics, have condemned the practice of separating children from their parents because of the serious, long-term and permanent emotional and psychological damage that children can experience from this separation.

The administration has the authority and the resources to immediately begin the process of family reunification.  Any delay in doing so is simply unacceptable.  We request that the administration present its plan to Congress and the country as soon as possible, and immediately begin steps to implement it.

Such a plan must include:

  • Steps to fully undo the “zero tolerance” policy, which has created such a crisis;
  • Immediate action to reunify families; and 
  • When reunited, your administration must quickly present alternatives to detention.

These alternatives have a proven track record and are significantly cheaper for taxpayers than the artificially-prolonged incarceration of asylum seekers that only enriches private companies in the business of running prisons. 

For the sake of the children, we strongly urge you to begin this process today. 

Sincerely,

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY)

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)

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