Today the Biden administration announced a presidential task force to reunite more than 611 children who were separated from their families at the U.S.-Mexico border by the Trump administration. Three years later, they still haven’t been reunited.
Shaun, this is such welcome news.
Not a single one of these children should have been torn from their parents. The fact that years later they STILL haven’t been reunited is damning evidence of the Trump administration’s sadism and cruelty.
Today’s announcement is a welcome step in the right direction. We’re going to fight tirelessly until families have the resources and support they need to heal, because reunification is just the first step on a long journey these families have ahead.
Make no mistake: this victory is the direct result of years and years of public pressure.
Thank you. Every petition signed, every rally attended, every dollar donated, every call to a representative: it is this tireless work of thousands of grassroots supporters like you that we honor today.
It has been a long, long journey since the spring of 2018 when the Trump administration announced their ‘zero-tolerance’ policy that tore these families apart, and just last week, in a symbolic but important move, the Department of Justice rescinded the memo that set the stage for this atrocity.
We were there in McAllen, Texas on Fathers Day, for the first Families Belong Together Vigil in the days after that announcement. We saw children not old enough for kindergarten being shipped off to jails hundreds of miles away, reaching for the bus windows as activists chanted outside.
That first vigil was followed by an outpouring of outrage where hundreds of thousands of us flooded the streets of small towns and major cities in protest, and 250 groups dedicated to ending family separation and detention came together to launch our organization, Families Belong Together.
The public pressure worked: within weeks the Trump administration backed off from the ‘zero-tolerance’ policy, an extremely rare about-face on policy that was not followed by a change of heart.
Unprecedented family detentions, ICE-raids, the “Remain in Mexico” policy, a refusal to hand over critical information that could reunite separated families, medical and sexual abuse in custody: we are just at the beginning of ending this horrific chapter of our country’s immigration policy and working to replace it with an immigration system centered on compassion, dignity and respect.
There is a ton of work left to do… So we’re taking today to remember, celebrate, and honor the work that got us here, and to recharge and fuel ourselves for what’s ahead, including working alongside the Presidential Task Force every step of the way.
We often end our emails saying ‘thank you for all you do,’ but this announcement was only possible because of all you do. So be proud today, because it is a good day.
And from the bottom of my heart,
Paola Luisi, Director
Families Belong Together