Many commentators have drawn parallels with the policies of Nazi Germany to separate families of Jews, Slavs, and others ultimately sent to their deaths. But we need to look no further than the history of national oppression inside the United States: where Native parents were slaughtered and their children sold as slaves while their lands were taken. African slave families broken up on the auction block. Japanese American families broken up in the concentration and prison camps during World War II. And now the latest and no less shocking policy of arresting immigrants from Central America and Mexico, many if not most seeking asylum and safe haven and taking away their children. In fact it is the Trump administration, not the immigrants, who are the actual criminals.
The Trump administration is trying to hold these children hostage to get an immigration bill that would fund the wall on the Mexican border, end the diversity visa that would severely cut immigration from Africa, and restrict legal immigration by cutting family reunification visas. This is a policy of ransom by kidnappers. A regime of criminals whose corruption, defense of white supremacists, and justification of sexual assault has no parallel in living memory.
Bowing to public pressure, the Trump administration issued an executive order calling for unlimited joint detention of families. This raises the prospect of concentration camps on the border and runs against the Flores court agreement that says that the U.S. government cannot detain children any longer than twenty days, and should release them as soon as possible. Trump’s order also does not speak to the more than 2,000 children already separated from their families. It has a number of loopholes that would allow for the continuing separation of children from their families.
Trump’s attorney general, Jeff Sessions, issued an order earlier that the administration would deny hearings and lead to immediate deportation of women and children fleeing from domestic, gang, and criminal violence. This is the same man who claimed that the Bible justified separating children from their parents. While it is not for us to judge, but we would certainly nominate him for a special place in hell (to use the Trump administration’s words).
Legalization for All (L4A) calls for immediate reunification of immigrant families, release of all children from detention, legalization of the DACA and DACA eligible youth, and the legalization of those with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Enforcement Departure (DED), many of whom have been in the United States for a decade or more. We want the restoration of asylum rights for those fleeing domestic violence and threats from gangs whose roots are actually in the United States. We oppose attempts to cut the U-visa for victims of domestic violence, to eliminate the diversity visa, and to restrict family unification visas for legal immigration.