CLASP Urges End to Family Separation at Border

Note: This statement can be attributed to CLASP Executive Director Olivia Golden.

The Center for Law and Social Policy is pleased to join 539 other children’s organizations—representing all 50 states—in calling on U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen to end the separation of children, including babies and toddlers, from their parents at the border. The trauma to children when they are torn away from their parents is well documented. Research shows they can suffer severe short- and long-term damage to their health and mental health, wellbeing, brain development, and learning, including longer-term effects on school performance. Simply put, separating children from their parents is cruel, devastating, unprecedented, and immoral.

There’s no excuse for tearing children from their parents. Many of them have already been traumatized by the violence their families have fled. Children should be treated as children and afforded protections that support their wellbeing, regardless of whether their family gains permanent status in the United States.

Our country’s leaders—who have manufactured this crisis—should be held accountable for ensuring the safety and wellbeing of asylum-seeking children and families. No child in the United States—regardless of circumstance—should be traumatized and jailed because their family is seeking safety. That’s why we are calling on our leadership to reverse itself for the good of children, families, and our nation.