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Congresswoman Maxine Waters

Representing the 43rd District of California

Waters Calls for the Immediate Reunification of Children with their Parents

July 11, 2018
Press Release

Waters Calls for the Immediate Reunification of Children with their Parents 

WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-43), Ranking Member of the House Financial Services, issued the following statement on the Trump administration’s failure to meet the first court-ordered deadline to reunite migrant children with their parents:

“Due either to complete incompetence, deliberate indifference, or both, Donald Trump and his administration failed to fully comply with one of the first court ordered deadlines to reunite the innocent children who they viciously separated from their parents. Despite the president’s attempts to divert attention from the crisis, the fact remains that thousands of children have not been returned to their families. These children were separated from their parents, sent hundreds of miles away, and housed in literal cages by the Trump administration. This is a national disgrace and a stain on our democracy.

“Donald Trump is responsible for this despicable humanitarian crisis at the Southern border, and now he has demonstrated that he lacks the ability to develop a comprehensive and verifiable plan to solve the problem he created.  The Trump administration failed to implement an effective system for identifying and reconnecting children with their parents before executing their ‘zero tolerance’ policy.  As a result, they have been unable to accurately report the number of children in their custody, the location of each child, and the immigration status of their parents – many of whom have already been deported.  Adding insult to injury, it was also revealed that one of the detained children under age 5 is actually an American citizen. Such a mistake should never happen, and should shock every American to their core.  After failing to meet the court’s July 10 deadline to simply reunite all the children in their custody under the age of 5 with their parents, the Trump administration requested a deadline extension from the court, citing a litany of excuses. This administration’s lack of a plan to promptly reunite the younger children with their families is compounded by the fact that they still have no plan to reunite the remainder of the children – more than 2000 children over the age of 5 – who also remain in their custody.

“Because of their lack of caring and competence, Donald Trump and his attorney general, Jeff Sessions, have traumatized thousands of children and families – many of whom are seeking refuge from the very type of mistreatment in which they are now confronted with upon arrival to the greatest democracy in the world. Every parent cannot help but think about the pain and heartbreak they would experience if the government took their children away from them in this fashion, and every patriotic American should be appalled by the harm that this president has inflicted on children.  We must all exercise our First Amendment right to speak out against this unconscionable family separation crisis.  I reiterate my call for this administration to repair the damage it recklessly caused and reunify every family immediately. I urge my colleagues in Congress to make every effort to ensure that these children are reconnected with their parents, and if the crisis proves impossible to fully solve, Congress must hold those who are responsible accountable.”

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