Leahy, Feinstein, Durbin: ICE should not separate families during upcoming ICE raids

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Leahy, Feinstein, Durbin: ICE should not separate families during upcoming ICE raids

Thu, 07/11/2019 - 4:36pm -- katie

. . . Senators Demand To Know Whether Family Separations Will Occur During Upcoming Immigration Raids

Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), joined by fellow Appropriators Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Senator Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) – who also serve as the Ranking Member of the Judiciary Committee and Ranking Member of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Border Security and Immigration, respectively – Thursday sent an urgent letter to the Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement requesting confirmation whether family separations have been approved as part of the upcoming ICE raids. 

The Senators sent the letter on the same day The New York Times reported that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is targeting thousands of members of families for arrest and deportation beginning this weekend.  Leahy, Feinstein and Durbin strongly condemned the inhumane separation of migrant families under President Trump’s discredited “zero tolerance” policy and sent this letter to ensure that the upcoming ICE raids will not serve to resurrect a practice that they and others have widely condemned as “un-American.”

The Senators wrote:  “Even when conducting legal immigration enforcement, ICE must avoid unnecessary trauma to children and respect basic human dignity.  Family separations – except in those rare circumstances where it is necessary to protect children and legally cannot be avoided – simply should not happen.  It should not happen by design, as it did under President Trump’s previous family separation policy.  And it should not happen under the guise of necessity due to a lack of appropriate detention space or the failure to take appropriate precautionary steps for families with U.S. citizen children.  This is especially avoidable when the administration is choosing to target massive numbers of families for enforcement actions, instead of prioritizing the use of limited resources on actual threats to our communities.”