skip navigation

WCSAP Responds: Immigration Detention Practices of Separating Families

Recent immigration policy and detention practices are unacceptable. Separating children from their parents, their brothers, and sisters is cruel and inhumane. At WCSAP we are horrified to read the news, to see the photographs, and to know that this is happening right now at the border and in facilities all over our country. It is a jarring systemic representation of the daily, institutional, and historical anti-immigrant sentiment, xenophobia, and racism that is evidenced not only through this practice but through microagressions, discrimination, sexual violence, and so many other forms of violence that are woven into our cultural fabric.

The irreparable harm and trauma to children, families, and our collective humanity cannot be ignored.  As caring human beings and as a social justice movement, we add our voices to condemn these immigration enforcement practices.

Child’s World America organized a petition of Mental Health Professionals who wrote, “We cannot afford to forget that there is a history of separating children from their parents: during slave auctions; during the forced assimilation of American Indians; and during the Holocaust. The reverberations of these barbaric stains on our history are still felt today and future generations of these original victims will inherit the intergenerational transmission of these traumas. To try and argue that this policy of ripping children from their parents at the border is somehow different from the systematic traumatization of children during the times of slavery, forced assimilation, and the Holocaust is to disregard history. To somehow convince ourselves that this systematic traumatization of children has no bearing on the lives of these children and no impact on the legacy of our country is to be living in an alternate universe. And to not care about the impact these policies have on these children is to succumb to the worst potential of humanity.”

As a nation we can and must do better. We call for an immediate end to the forced separation of families and ask you to take action. Every voice matters and we have a shared responsibility for speaking out and addressing these injustices. Just as we call on people to act and intervene when they observe sexism or sexual assault, we must interpret this as a call to action and do what we can to end this cruel policy.

Here are some ways you can take action:

Contact Congressional leaders and demand a stop to the tearing apart of families. Tell them to vote NO on the Ryan Compromise and the Goodlatte bill, both of which are up for a vote this week. You can use the US capitol Switchboard to call your member of Congress with that message. The number is (202) 224-3121.

Sign the Families Belong Together petition: http://familiesbelongtogether.org/

Take action in local community events. Share information on your website and social media forums.

If you are a lawyer (or know lawyers) in Washington State who speaks Spanish or Cantonese, Northwest Immigrant Rights Project needs you. NWIRP is connecting the people detained here in Washington with lawyers to learn about their cases. And if you don’t speak those languages, but could volunteer to take on an asylum case, let NWIRP know as well. https://www.nwirp.org/

 

Reviewed: June 19th, 2018