fcnl.org Peace Is Possible 10 July 2018
Do what is just and right. Rescue from the hand of his oppressor the one who has been robbed. Do no wrong or violence to the alien…. Jeremiah 22:3
So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. Matthew 7:12
End Zero-Tolerance Immigration Enforcement
–adapted from Amelia Kegan, Hannah Graf Evans, FCNL
The national scandal of forcibly separated immigrant families and indefinite detention rages on. Now comes word of noncitizens being dropped from the US military without cause. Agencies were instructed to reunite kids and parents by a date certain, but they have been unable to accomplish that by the deadline. Congress is considering legislative proposals that would “address” family separation… by throwing children into indefinite detention with their parents. That is NOT a solution to family separation. The solution is to put a stop to zero-tolerance enforcement while using and investing in community-based alternatives to detention.
Unfortunately, bills that would expand family detention have been gaining bipartisan momentum in the House and the Senate. The Keep Families Together and Enforce the Law Act (S. 3093) and similar legislation would allow for children to be detained indefinitely with their parents. Under current regulations, children can’t be kept in detention for more than 20 days. Congress should uphold that standard; passing legislation that undermines protections for children is no solution.
Congress should oppose any legislation that incarcerates children, with or without their parents. Congress also should push the administration to end its zero-tolerance prosecution policy and to protect asylum seekers, especially young children, from being harmfully incarcerated.
Non-restrictive, community-based alternatives to detention are the most appropriate response to immigrant families, children, and asylum seekers. Members of Congress must encourage the administration to utilize these options rather than expanding family detention.
Sen. Joe Donnelly 720 Hart Senate Off. Bldg. Washington, DC 20510
Sen. Todd Young 400 Russell Senate Off. Bldg. Washington, DC 20510
Rep. Luke Messer 1230 Longworth HOB Washington, DC 20515
Rep. Messer, Sen. _____________:
I am writing to express strong opposition to the administration’s “zero-tolerance” immigration enforcement. That policy led to forced family separations, and now to indefinite detention of immigrants, even small children. The president’s proposal to end family separation by detaining children indefinitely alongside their parents is not a solution. It is cruel and inhumane.
I ask that you reject the Keep Families Together and Enforce the Law Act (S. 3093) and other similar proposals that expand family detention, under the false and misleading guise of ending family separation.
I ask also that you push the administration to immediately end its “zero-tolerance” policy of prosecuting and incarerating everyone who crosses the border. That policy is the root cause of family separation.
Congress should be able to cut funding for detention and deportation, and to increase accountability and oversight of immigration and border enforcement. We should be utilizing non-restrictive, community-based alternatives to detention, which are the most appropriate response for families, children, and asylum seekers. Please do everything you can to restore compassion and common sense to US immigration policy.