Statement on Department of Homeland Security Decision to Separate Families

May 8, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), the Senior Democrat on the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security, issued the following statement today regarding a Trump Administration decision to refer every person entering the country between ports of entry for federal prosecution, a policy that will dramatically increase the separation of parents from their children:

“The Trump Administration’s continued policy of family separation at our Southern border is an unconscionable degradation of American values. We are not served by tearing children from the arms of their parents, nor does the indiscriminate use of mass criminal prosecution serve the interests of justice. Many of the women and children arriving at our borders are fleeing unimaginable violence in their home countries and are seeking protection and safety under the law.

“Attorney General Sessions claims these families are ‘lawless’ and seeking to ‘invade’ or ‘stampede’ this country, but it is not unlawful to seek asylum protection in this country. People with a legitimate fear of persecution, under US law have a right to present their case for asylum. That is part of immigration law.

“The United States has long been a beacon of freedom and hope for the world's most vulnerable. This Trump Administration policy is a stain on that legacy and a disgrace to our country’s long commitment to asylum and refugee law.”

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