Washington, D.C. – Today, Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) issued the following statement marking the one-year anniversary of the Trump Administration’s zero tolerance family separation agenda:
“Today on the one-year anniversary of the Trump’s family separation policy, our country is still reeling from the horrors of this zero-humanity policy. Worse, the Trump administration still has no idea exactly how many children they tore from their parents and we continue to uncover new evidence showing that the Trump administration never had any intention of reuniting children with their families.
“I was the first Member of Congress to go into a federal prison and talk to parents who had been cruelly separated from their children. None were able to say goodbye, and many described hearing their children screaming for them after the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) forcibly separated them. Most parents had gone weeks without talking to or knowing where their children were. The vast majority were seeking asylum, doing what any parent would do in trying to protect their children from violence and even death. The harm done to these children is—as we heard in testimony before the Judiciary Committee—irreversible and extremely damaging to their futures.
“My Dignity for Detained Immigrants Act, H.R. 2415, would stop Trump from imposing a blanket policy of separating families by creating a presumption of release and heightening the burden to detain primary caregivers caring for or traveling with a child. We will also continue to push for answers from this Administration as we uncover the facts of the family separation policy and hold Trump, DHS and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) accountable.
“In our country’s history, immigration has never been just about policy. It has always been about who we are and what we are willing to stand up for. Together, we must continue to stand alongside immigrant families and communities, speak out and right the wrongs of this administration to keep families together. I will never forget the stories and the voices of the parents I met with—and I promise to do everything I can to ensure that every family torn apart is reunited and that this never happens again.”