Keeping Families Together: Update

There is much confusing news today about the migrant/refugee situation. What we do know is that Trump’s Executive Order solves nothing for the families already separated and may not hold up in the courts for keeping new refugees together. We know that the Trump administration is not allowing asylum claims pursuant to international law. We are following this closely as we are sure our readers are.

We have received this message from Congressman O’Halleran’s Office:

As people in the community working on immigration issues, I just wanted to give you all a quick update.Congressman O’Halleran signed on as one of the many original Democratic co-sponsors on the House version of the Keep Families Together Act, which is similar to the Feinstein Senate version, and is listed under the principal author Congressman Nadler (NY).

In addition, he will be voting down two Republican immigration bills tomorrow. The hardline Goodlatte bill and the less extreme, but still not acceptable compromise bill that Speaker Ryan is touting.

Obviously, the Keep Families Together legislation is but a small part of what needs to be done, but I wanted to at least make everyone aware that the Congressman is fully onboard with that piece of legislation.

State Senator Jamescita Peshlakai (LD-7) was to have been our guest speaker today at Democratic Political Action! Instead, she was called to Phoenix to take action as part of the Indigenous Peoples Caucus press conference. Here are excerpts from her Facebook post:

We’ve seen the unraveling of civility in the last year and a half. In recent weeks, our country has taken a horrible and brutal turn in policy. Unfortunately, many of us do know and recognize this United States.

For our dear family and friends that are not minorities or people of color, it has just been beyond their line of sight, just somewhere at the edges of their peripheral vision. This press conference is a call to action. A call to action literally for the soul of America. The members of the Arizona Legislature’s Indigenous Peoples Caucus are here today; Representatives Sally Ann Gonzales and Representative Wenona Benally—not with us in-person today but present in heart is Representative Descheenie.

We call upon our tribal nations in Arizona, the United States and the indigenous people the world over to unite to plan a cooperative and continuous collaboration for our children, our families and our elders. As state leaders, we are each members of an indigenous tribe. All the tribes in the United States interact with the federal government through their respective sovereignty. Therefore in respect to our indigenous nations, we respond to our constituents’ call to bring all these unique and independent tribes together. The atrocities being committed now at the southern U.S. border are being committed by the ancestral descendants of those fleeing their own countries in the last 500 years. But this is still the sacred land of Indian Country, and non-action is not an option.

Why? Many caught in this border nightmare are of indigenous descent, citizens of nations in central and south America that are still being victimized by their governments, much like our North American Indigenous People in past centuries. Those governments are not blameless.

Today as U.S. Citizens, Arizona Citizens and legal constituents we must ALL denounce the Trump administration’s immigration maneuvering, Governor Doug Ducey’s support of the inhumane treatment of human beings here in Arizona, and congressional leaders’ refusal to do the right thing: to reunite families now.

A sacred teaching we are all taught is we that have a duty to each other, to take care of one another and this press conference is a step in that direction. It takes you, me, our children, our neighbor, and yes, ALL our elected leaders in this great democracy—a democracy founded on the beliefs, philosophies and the practice of first Americans.

• The executive order signed by President Trump does nothing to nullify our grave concerns with his administration’s enactment of a “zero-tolerance” policy. The executive order is silent on how children who have already been separated from their parents will be reunited with their parents. It also proposes to detain entire families indefinitely.

• As members of the Indigenous Peoples Caucus, we are opposed to the treatment of our Indigenous brothers and sisters who reach our southern border after a harrowing journey seeking asylum in our country. These families have had their due process rights violated. The executive order does nothing to cure that.

• According to various reports, there are no less than 2,300 children who have been separated from their parents. Children as young as a few months old have been mercilessly torn from their parents, a trauma from which they may never recover.

• President Trump is proposing that children be held at prison-like facilities with their parents until the parents’ criminal and immigration proceedings have concluded, which can take years. We cannot stand idly by without forcefully coming out against this policy of placing children and entire families in camps—the likes of which we have not seen since the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II. We will remain vigilant, engaged, and work with elected officials, business, faith, and community leaders to ensure we do not allow history to repeat itself.

• President Trump signed this latest executive order because of the work and pressure of courageous people who refused to stay silent about the atrocity our government is committing against children. We call on tribes and elected official to have courage to continue speaking up. We cannot allow entire families to be imprisoned. This ill-conceived policy is not the answer.


Please check our Events Calendar for protest events and double down on your commitment to Get Out the Vote.

Some news sources:

Executive order brings changes to enforcement practices

Pentagon will make room for up to 20,000 migrant children on military bases

The Billion-Dollar Business of Operating Shelters for Migrant Children

The real hoax about the border crisis

(Note: If you have a subscription to the Arizona Daily Sun, you can see Washington Post articles for free online — contact ADS circulation to get you set up with the service. If you don’t have an ADS subscription, get one to support our local paper. It has a full subscription to the Associated Press, which is providing important, factual reporting. And, that AP subscription is expensive.)





Posted in Latest News and tagged .