Statement of Eleanor Smeal, President of the Feminist Majority, denouncing the abhorrent and cruel policy of the Trump Administration to separate children from their parents who are seeking refuge in the United States.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – “I’m proud to stand to protest the inhumane Trump Administration policy which is tearing babies, toddlers, and children of all ages from the arms of mothers and fathers who were only trying to escape violence and persecution and to reach safety for themselves and their families.

Let’s be clear: this is a new policy created by this Administration to use children as leverage to deter people who are desperately seeking safety. Instead of helping them find refuge, we are ripping their children from them in hopes of deterring other desperate people.

What’s next? The terminations of parental rights and kidnapping of children to place them in foster care or put them up for adoption? What will happen to these children?

This reminds me of concentration and/or internment camps in which children were separated from their parents under false pretenses never to be reunited. A country that values human rights can have no part of this.

To use national security as an excuse for these inhumane conditions and treatment must be denounced. People seeking asylum are not a threat to our national security. They are desperate people seeking refuge who deserve to be treated with dignity.

The Feminist Majority wholeheartedly supports the bill recently introduced by Senator Dianne Feinstein, Keep Families Together Act, which prohibits removing a child from their parent or guardian at or near the port of entry or within 100 miles of the border. This Act prohibits the separation of a child from their parent or guardian to deter such individuals from migrating to the United States.

Congress must take action now! Every day, more children are traumatized and families are irreparably damaged.”