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Jayapal Statement on Historic Settlement to Help Separated Families

WASHINGTON – U.S. Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Immigration issued the following statement in reaction to the Biden administration’s announcement of a settlement related to the Trump Administration’s family separation policy:

“I commend the administration for reaching today’s historic settlement. This announcement is a very significant step forward in addressing the extreme pain, violations of rights and consequences of those violations for the separated families. It is also absolutely necessarily to ensuring the Trump administration’s cruel, zero-humanity family separation policy will never happen again under future administrations. 

“In 2018, my colleagues and I watched in horror as news leaked of the Trump administration’s barbaric and deliberate family separation policy. I was the first Member of Congress to go into a federal prison and talk to hundreds of mothers and fathers who had been cruelly separated from their children, some as young as just a few months old. I will never forget their stories of agony as they described being torn from their children without any opportunity to say goodbye, to hug their children one last time, or even give them some words of comfort. They told me how they were tricked—immigration agents told them they were just going to take a photograph or see a judge, but when they came back, their children were gone. In some cases, they could hear their children crying for them in another room but were unable to go to them. Many of them did not know for weeks and even months where their children were. 

“I am proud to have worked with movement partners and colleagues inside Congress to organize on the ground for a march with 500,000 people in Washington, D.C. to protest the cruel zero-humanity family separation policy, and to continue to constantly remind us that America must address the consequences through a settlement and through policy and legislative action.

“Let us be very clear that the Trump Administration intended to permanently separate children from their families. Today, hundreds of children have been reunited thanks to the hard work of the Biden Administration, yet hundreds still remain separated. We must ensure this never happens again.

“We must never rest until every family is reunited.”