WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) today issued the following statement in response to the Trump administration’s policy directive to separate children at the Mexico-U.S. border from their mothers and fathers – many of whom are seeking asylum from violence, injustice and violations of their human rights.
“The Trump administration’s policies directing the separation of children from their parents are barren of the most basic human empathy. That they are completely unnecessary makes them especially concerning, especially when you consider that many of these families being torn apart at the border are fleeing violence, persecution and human rights violations in their native countries. Thousands of children now have been taken from their parents’ arms and federal law enforcement reportedly is unwilling or unable to give their parents information on where they are going, or when and how they may be reunited.
“Despite their claims to the contrary, no law requires the Trump administration to separate children from their parents. The administration has made a conscious decision to tear families apart as a way to ‘deter’ and intimidate those who are lawfully seeking asylum in our country. The United States must not be a country that further traumatizes these individuals. These inhumane practices do not make America safer. They only make us smaller.
“This is a defining time for our nation, and we will be judged dispassionately by history for our ability to muster compassion, underscore our belief in human dignity, and translate it into immediate and lasting policy. It is for this reason that I will co-sponsor Senator Feinstein’s Keep Families Together Act, S. 3036, which works to ensure that families at the border will not be separated. I also strongly support S. 2937, the HELP Separated Children Act, which Senator Tina Smith has introduced to better protect the families affected by Trump’s immigration enforcement actions.
“I also have urged President Trump directly to immediately reverse his inhumane policies and replace them with actions that reinforce, rather that undercut, the values of diversity, lenity and acceptance that have truly made America great.”