Durbin Calls On Republicans To Stand Up And Stop Trump Policy Of Family Separation At The Border

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today blasted Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the Trump Administration’s cruel policy of separating children from their parents who arrive at the Southern border of the United States seeking protection from horrific violence in the Northern Triangle region of Central America.

Some mothers were told, ‘we’re going to give your child a bath. Oh, we’re going to give your child a meal,’ and then the child was snatched away. That is the official government policy of Attorney General Sessions and the Trump Administration. It is hard to imagine we have reached this point in the history of this country that this is acceptable conduct by our government,” said Durbin. “It is hard to believe that the rest of the world will look at this and say, well, that’s how Americans treat people who come asking for help. They take their kids away from them. Family separation is now the policy of this Administration—not family unity. I’m hoping, just hoping, and perhaps some of my Republican colleagues will think this is an outrage as well. Maybe they’ll step up and speak out. I hope they do. On a bipartisan basis, we should all be standing up for these children who are being separated from their parents.”

Video of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here

Audio of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here.

Known as the Northern Triangle, the countries of Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala have among the highest homicide rates in the world, and girls face a constant threat of sexual violence, with little protection from local authorities. This is why children and their families are taking extraordinary risks to flee to the U.S. border. More than 90 percent of unaccompanied children referred to HHS are from the three nations in the Northern Triangle.

In March, Durbin and 23 of his Senate colleagues pressed the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Acting Inspector General to investigate allegations that DHS is separating the children of asylum-seekers from their parents. This request followed reports of the case of a seven-year-old girl and her mother from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) who were separated for more than four months after they presented themselves at the U.S. border and sought protection in accordance with the law.