Representative Darren Soto (D-FL), Representative Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) and a broad spectrum of civil rights leaders including Reverend Al Sharpton, president and founder, National Action Network; Janet Murguía, president and CEO, UnidosUS; Jonathan Greenblatt, national director & CEO, Anti-Defamation League; Kristen Clarke, president & executive director, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law; Marc H. Morial, president & CEO, National Urban League; Melanie Campbell, president and CEO, National Coalition on Black Civic Participation; Sindy Benavides, COO & acting CEO, League of United Latin American Citizens; Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director-counsel, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.,; Vanita Gupta, president and CEO, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and Derrick Johnson, president and CEO, NAACP, held a press conference at the Capitol calling on the Trump administration and U.S. Attorney General Sessions to immediately cease the separation of children and their families at the U.S. border.
From October 2017 to May 2018, more than 2,700 children have been separated from their parents and the rate of those separations have risen alarmingly—in the past six weeks alone, at least 1,995 children have been taken from their parents and placed in shelter facilities that are already nearing capacity. Compounding the cruel separation, the government does not have a formal process to reunite families, leaving the very real possibility that children spend extended periods of time away from their families and in a temporary shelter facility, causing irreparable harm and trauma.
“The gathering of major civil rights leaders is to underscore our outrage at the abhorrible, immoral the administrative directive to separate children from their parents. This must be resisted at all levels. If Congress does not act today, we will begin as early as Thursday waves of visits to the border in efforts to have clergy and humanitarian visits to these children and to show the world that America has not lost its conscious or soul. The mutual aspect of this is that we more than are convinced that President Trump would not do this at the Canadian border to White children. This is selective administrative insensitivity,” said Reverend Al Sharpton, president & founder, National Action Network.