This statement can be attributed to Mayra E Alvarez, President of The Children’s Partnership.
Los Angeles, CA, June 21, 2019—Multiple reports have surfaced that raids on immigrant families by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) are expected to begin this weekend. Since the beginning of the Trump administration, harsh immigration policies and anti-immigrant rhetoric have instilled a deep and lasting fear inside many communities, threatening the wellbeing of children in immigrant families. These raids are further evidence of the Trump Administration’s relentless and cruel attacks on children and families, only this time children will be torn from their parents across the country in their own backyards.
Eighteen million children in the U.S. — 4.5 million children in California alone — are part of an immigrant family. Witnessing a parent’s arrest causes long-term damage the health, security, and livelihood of children and in the short-term, rips families apart. Research has made clear that separating children from their parents causes them trauma and toxic stress that can have lifelong negative impacts on their mental and physical health. In the short term, the trauma and stress impair a child’s ability to concentrate, form secure attachments, and control and focus their own thinking. In the long term, they place children at risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. The actions and words of the Trump administration have already done damage to the wellbeing of millions of children in immigrant families across California. Harming a child’s health with federally sanctioned family separation goes against American values to protect our young people.
A child is a child is a child. Yet with these unjust raids and policies, the Trump administration continues to dehumanize America’s children and destabilize families for political gain. The climate of fear, the separation and detention of families, and the uncertainty of the future compels every American to ask, “Where are the children?” in the Trump administration’s priorities. The administration could improve and expand case management programs instead of defunding them and terrorizing families in the middle of the night. They could accept that immigrants are overwhelmingly showing up for court appearances instead of traumatizing their children.
As an organization that focuses on putting our children’s well-being first in policymaking, The Children’s Partnership urges the Administration to stop separating children from their
caregivers and terrorizing immigrant communities and implore our state and local officials to speak out against this proposal, equip communities with the resources they need to support families impacted by raids, and put our nation’s values into action.
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The Children’s Partnership (TCP) is a California children’s advocacy organization committed to improving the lives of underserved children where they live, learn, and play with breakthrough solutions at the intersection of research, policy, and community engagement. Since 1993, TCP has been a leading voice for children and a critical resource for communities across California and the nation, working every day to champion policies that provide all children with the resources and opportunities they need to thrive. For more information, visit childrenspartnership.org and follow us on Twitter @KidsPartnership.