May 18, 2020

Families Belong Together: ICE has Launched Family Separation 2.0

Press Release

Last week, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) began taking advantage of the COVID-10 crisis to start asking detained parents to sign a form that would permit their children to be separated from them & released from detention, while forcing the parents to remain detained indefinitely. Lawyers representing immigrant families at all three family detention centers in the U.S. have confirmed that ICE is presenting immigrant parents with this impossible choice of indefinite separation from their children or prolonged detention alongside them during a pandemic, indicating that this is a coordinated, national strategy headed by the Department of Homeland Security and the Trump Administration.

Tomorrow, Tuesday, May 19, organizations and individuals across the country will stand in solidarity with the families that ICE attempted to force into this impossible decision and demand their release.

Lawyers for immigrant families detained in these facilities are available for interviews. A statement from Families Belong Together chair Jess Morales Rocketto is below:

“While tens of thousands lose their lives to one of the biggest public health crises of our lifetime, the Trump administration is doubling down on its sadistic treatment of children and families. We are not a country that believes in tearing babies away from their parents. Pediatricians, public health experts, and the nation agree that now is the time to lean into our values of care, compassion, and empathy—not cruelty.”


The Families Belong Together coalition includes nearly 250 different groups comprising tens of thousands of Americans from all backgrounds who have joined together to fight the Trump Administration’s cruel family separation and anti-immigrant agenda. Led by the National Domestic Workers Alliance, MoveOn, the ACLU, and The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the Families Belong Together coalition organized the National Day of Action that saw hundreds of thousands of people protest the family separation policy and other inhumane immigration policies at more than 780 events in all 50 states. The coalition is at the forefront of the fight to permanently end family separation and incarceration, immediately reunite all families who remain torn apart, reverse the Trump administration’s zero-humanity policy that created this crisis, and hold accountable anyone who has profited politically or financially from the suffering of these families.

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