Statement re: Families Belong Together Nationwide Rally

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 30, 2018
Contact: Dorothy He
(872) 600-9517 / dhe@napawf.org

A large group of advocates pose for a group photo. They are all holding signs in support of immigrants and keeping families together.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, hundreds of thousands of Americans participated in Families Belong Together rallies in dozens of cities across the country. Recent news of the Trump administration forcibly removing migrant children from their families after crossing the border has sent shock waves throughout the country. Protesters rallied to fight back against the separation that has happened to over 2,000 families at the border.

NAPAWF Executive Director Sung Yeon Choimorrow issued the following statement in response:

“NAPAWF was horrified to hear the news that thousands of children were being separated from their families at the border. That’s why, today, we are proud to march alongside our fellow immigrants, women of color, and allies as we fight to put a stop to the cruel practice of undocumented children being taken away from their parents. Our fight continues in the wake of the retirement announcement of Justice Anthony Kennedy, the NIFLA v. Becerra decision, the upholding of the Muslim ban, and the setback for worker rights in Janus v. AFSCME.

“This behavior is a pattern with the administration. It builds on Office of Refugee Resettlement Director Scott Lloyd’s decision to deny Jane Doe and other women in similar situations the right to an abortion and Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ decision to deny asylum to survivors of domestic and gang violence. Moreover, individuals who were detained in holding facilities have repeatedly endured various types of abuse and neglect while awaiting a trial date.

“This kind of treatment of immigrants, at the hands of our own government no less, sends a message that we do not respect civil rights — much less humanity. It also has devastating impacts on mental health and development. When children are forcibly separated from their parents, they often experience trauma that heightens their risk for depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other mental health illnesses later on in life. What’s more, family separation is the epitome of denying a mother’s agency, as it interferes with her ability to raise their children in safety. All women deserve the right to parent their children without fear of violence or separation.

“The Trump administration recently announced a new immigration practice which continues to detain families, albeit together — hardly a humane solution. NAPAWF strongly disagrees with any model of an immigration system that incarcerates migrants or refugees, or continues to incarcerate families in any capacity. The administration’s latest policy is just a continuation of their anti-immigrant agenda — one that strips power from immigrant women by taking away their control over what happens to themselves and their families.

“What’s become more clear than ever is that we need to put an end to these wildly inhumane and draconian policies. NAPAWF will continue fighting until all women are fully and equally empowered to make choices about our bodies, our families, and our lives.”

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The National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) is the only multi-issue, progressive, community organizing and policy advocacy organization for Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) women and girls in the U.S. NAPAWF’s mission is to build a movement to advance social justice and human rights for AAPI women and girls.