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Monday, July 30, 2018

78民權組織要求美眾議院開公聽會促實施家庭團聚法

After the Trump administration failed to meet a court-ordered family reunification deadline last week, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and 77 civil rights groups sent a letter urging the U.S. House of Representatives to convene oversight hearings to demand answers. The administration has missed all of its court-ordered deadlines for reuniting children with their parents, and, as the letter notes, “It is inappropriate for 435 House members to return to their districts and to their families for the August recess while more than 700 young children are still being kept from their parents.” Congress needs to ensure the administration fixes the catastrophe it created – including by providing far more clarity on its plans for reunifying families, explaining how it will address the trauma that children have suffered under this policy, and clearly spelling out plans for the expansion of humane, lawful, and cost-efficient alternatives to detention in the future.
The letter sent to Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi today can be read in its entirety here, and is pasted below my signature.
Letter to Speaker Ryan and Leader Pelosi re: Oversight of Family Separation Policy
July 30, 2018
Recipient: United States House of Representatives
Dear Speaker Ryan and Leader Pelosi:
On behalf of the undersigned civil and human rights organizations, we write to express our profound concern regarding the Trump administration’s unacceptably slow response to its self-created crisis of family separations at our Southern border. The administration has now missed all of its court-ordered deadlines for reuniting children with their parents, and we urge you to convene oversight hearings to demand answers about this cruel and ineffective policy. It is inappropriate for 435 House members to return to their districts and to their families for the August recess while more than 700 young children are still being kept from their parents.
As you know, in April, the Trump administration announced it would criminally prosecute all undocumented immigrants who were detained at the U.S.-Mexico border, even those seeking asylum, with no exceptions made for those who were traveling with their children. This resulted in parents being sent to jails, and in their children being taken away and placed in the custody of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). In less than two months, more than 2,500 children were needlessly taken away from their parents.
While the bipartisan outcry against this cruel practice eventually pressured the administration to reconsider its approach, the damage to the affected children has been incalculable, and the administration’s response has been nothing short of incompetent. Last month, a federal district judge ordered the administration to reunite all children under the age of five with their parents within a two-week period. Only a fraction of children in that age group were reunited by the deadline, and weeks later, dozens remain separated. The same court also ordered the administration to reunite all children between 5 and 17 years of age within one month – and yesterday we learned that the government again has fallen far short. To complicate matters further, the administration acknowledged that it has deported as many as 468 parents without their children, making it likely that this crisis will continue for a significant period of time.
This summer, we saw the administration and its allies try to use this manufactured crisis as leverage to force votes on a slew of unrelated immigration law reforms. We now urge you to use your oversight and appropriations authority as leverage to ensure the administration fixes the catastrophe it created – including by providing far more clarity on its plans for reunifying families, explaining how it will address the trauma that children have suffered under this policy, and clearly spelling out plans for how it will instead use humane, lawful, and cost-efficient alternatives to detention in the future.
For example, the administration still needs to explain:
  1. Why it is unilaterally making “eligibility” determinations that narrow the numbers of families that “qualify” for reunification;
  2. What its plan and timeline is for finding deported parents and reunifying them with their children in the United States;
  3. Why it is pushing to deport families as quickly as possible after reunification;
  4. Why it continues to needlessly jail thousands of children, separated parents, and immigrants in inhumane ICE detention facilities when they are eligible for release; and
  5. How it responds to reports that it has destroyed records related to family separations.
Again, this is not the time for Congress to return to their families while so many children are waiting to return to theirs. The Senate intends to hold a hearing this week, but we need both chambers of Congress to do everything in their power to help resolve this crisis. Members of Congress should also use this upcoming month to visit detention facilities nationwide as well as at the border, and with jailed immigrants to better understand the chaos and cruelty that this administration has wrought.

Sincerely,
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
Action Together Network
American Federation of Teachers
American Humanist Association
Andrew Goodman Foundation
Anti-Defamation League
Arab American Institute (AAI)
Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum
Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance
Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence
Autistic Self Advocacy Network
Center for Community Self-Help
Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP)
Center for Popular Democracy
Children’s Defense Fund
Coalition on Human Needs
Conference of Major Superiors of Men (Catholic)
Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)
DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Defending Rights & Dissent
Democrats for Education Reform
Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund
Equal Justice Society
Equality California
Farmworker Justice
FORGE, Inc.
Freedom Network USA
Futures Without Violence
Hadassah, The Women’s Zionist Organization of America, Inc.
Hispanic Federation
Human Rights Campaign
Immigration Hub
Impact Fund
In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda
Japanese American Citizens League
Justice in Motion
Leadership Conference of Women Religious
Legal Momentum, the Women’s Legal Defense and Education Fund
Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service
Mi Familia Vota
Muslim Public Affairs Council
NAACP
NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.
National Action Network
National Association of Human Rights Workers
National Association of Social Workers
National Black Justice Coalition
National Center for Transgender Equality
The National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA)
National Council of Jewish Women
National Council on Independent Living (NCIL)
National Disability Rights Network
National Employment Law Project
National Immigrant Justice Center
National Immigration Law Center
National Indian Education Association
National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health
National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund
National Organization for Women
National Partnership for Women & Families
National Women’s Law Center
Oxfam America
Partnership for America’s Children
Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law
SEIU
Service Employees International Union (SEIU)
Sikh American Legal Defense and education Fund
The Sikh Coalition
Sisters of Mercy of the Americas – Institute Justice Team
Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC)
Teach Plus
Truman National Security Project
U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants
UnidosUS (formerly National Council of La Raza)
Union for Reform Judaism
United Church of Christ
YWCA USA

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