UUSC Calls Biden’s Asylum Ban a Stunning Betrayal of U.S. Commitments

Challenging Injustice, Advancing Human Rights

The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee advances human rights through grassroots collaborations.

Trump Order Ending Family Separation May Not Be The End

UUSC says President's order on immigrant family separations at border is a travesty and a false solution opening way to extend child detention.

Media Contacts:
Jan Dragin, Dragin Communications, jdragin@gmail.com, 24/7 at (339) 236-0679
Mike Givens, UUSC, mgivens@uusc.org, (857) 540-0617


CAMBRIDGE, Mass./WASHINGTON, D.C. — Wednesday, June 20, 2018 — The human rights organization Unitarian Universalist Service Committee’s (UUSC) response this afternoon to President Trump’s executive order related to family separation was swift and blunt. “It’s a travesty, a false solution,” said UUSC Vice President and Chief Program Officer Rachel Gore Freed.

Advertised in advance by Trump as a decree that would end family separation at the southern border, Freed said, “It will do nothing of the sort.

“What is happening here is more of the same: the quiet dismantling of basic protections at our border, the government’s attempts to redefine access to asylum and protection, prolonging detention to deter people from coming, and the administration’s lack of accountability and respect for families fleeing violence.”

Referring to the “something” the president had said earlier that he would come up with to quell the national and international outrage over separating children from their immigrant parents and interring them all, UUSC’s Freed said the executive order “Affording Congress an Opportunity to Address Family Separation” doesn’t directly end family separation.

“In fact, it opens the door to make the situation worse and more uncertain for asylum-seeking parents and children,” Freed said.

“The executive order essentially reiterates the administration’s current position. Worse, it proposes to roll back the Flores ruling that prevents immigrant children from being detained for more than a few days and, through a subsequent federal court ruling, requires parents accompanying children to be released along with the children. Rolling back Flores would allow families, including the children, to remain interred for indefinite periods of time.

“The administration is continuing the false narrative that legal protections for children like the Floresruling are to blame for family separation,” said Freed. “This Trump directive simply upholds the zero tolerance policy. It reiterates the commitment to criminally prosecute all irregular migration, including that of asylum-seekers who don’t or can’t cross at the designated ports of entry to make their claims.

“So long as these prosecutions continue, they will mean more family separation. The Attorney General openly acknowledged when he announced ‘zero tolerance’ that it would result in children being taken from their parents,” said Freed.

“If the administration were at all serious about ending family separation, it could end this policy in a heartbeat– yet today it again manifestly failed to do so.”

The executive order allows the detention of “alien families together throughout the pendency of criminal proceedings” or “any removal or other immigration proceedings.”

“Those proceedings can last for years. The long, dark hallway of protracted immigrant detention looks even longer and darker with this proclamation,” Freed said.

UUSC advances human rights and social justice around the world, partnering with those who confront unjust power structures and mobilizing to challenge oppressive policies.