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CHC Chair Statement on DHS Policy Change to Separate Families at US-Mexico Border

May 8, 2018
Press Release
Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) Chair Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham (NM-01)  released the following statement on news reports that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has changed its policy to refer all adults crossing the border between ports of entry for prosecution. This policy change will result in the separation of families seeking asylum:
 
“This latest directive by Trump’s DHS formalizes and sanctions a reckless and severe practice that’s already ripped 700 children, including more than 100 children under the age of four, from the arms of their parents since last year.
 
“Seeking asylum in our country is not illegal, in fact, it is written into our immigration laws to ensure that those with a credible fear of persecution can present their case. Further, family unity is recognized as a fundamental human right, enshrined in international law. Mothers, fathers and children should be afforded access to a fair asylum process and the ability to legally seek refuge without the threat of separation. When a similar type of policy was implemented in the past it overwhelmed the court system, diverted limited resources from going after smugglers and cartels and was criticized for being ineffective and turning its back on our international treaty commitments.
 
“It is reprehensible that the Trump Administration continues to distort reality and the facts in order to cruelly tear apart families and further their politically motivated anti-immigrant agenda.”
 
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The Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), founded in December 1976, is organized as a Congressional Member organization, governed under the Rules of the U.S. House of Representatives. The CHC is dedicated to voicing and advancing, through the legislative process, issues affecting Hispanics in the United States, Puerto Rico and U.S. Territories.