Violence is violence, regardless if it is an individual or state perpetrator. Women, men and children fleeing violence in their homes, communities and countries come to the United States for safety – they literally risk everything because staying is worse than the options that exist on the treacherous route north. The federal government’s “zero tolerance” policy to prosecute those at the border without discretion perpetrates additional violence and creates further trauma for these children and families. Compounding the administration’s “zero tolerance” policy is a major reversal in policy and defense by the Department of Justice that survivors of domestic violence qualify for asylum. This more restrictive interpretation of asylum laws places already severely vulnerable populations at risk of further harm, and undermines our progress toward addressing the unique and intersectional needs of immigrant women and children exposed to violence.
Again, many of these parents at our border are fleeing extreme violence. They are desperately seeking safety for their children. That search for protection is not a crime. We would do the same thing for our children. While the administration has now signed an Executive Order that children will be incarcerated with their parents instead of the traumatic separation that has been happening, the Trump administration has simply created a policy of internment and is working to undermine years of case law that has dictated that families cannot be held for more than 20 days. On-going detention is harmful for kids and is bad for families, both in the short and long term. The Executive Order is a false solution, window dressing due to the outrage, but does not solve the problem.
This crisis is part of the larger manufactured crisis by the Trump administration in its inhumane treatment of Dreamers, asylum seekers, and other immigrants. It is simply wrong and must be stopped. Join the Arizona Coalition to End Sexual & Domestic Violence as we march with others on June 30th at the Arizona State Capitol demanding that the government change policy to a bi-partisan, fair, and humane immigration solution.
Statement by ACESDV Public Policy Team