National Commentary

Congressman Beyer’s News Commentary: Fighting Trump’s Family Separation Policy

beyer-onlinemugI was horrified by President Trump’s decision to forcibly separate children from their parents at the border. That horror was matched by hundreds of constituents who called or wrote to my office this month to oppose this immoral policy.

While I am relieved that the President has announced that while he will bow to public outrage and move to mitigate this crisis that he created, untold numbers of children are crying in detention camps, unsure of everything in their lives, and parents who believed they were fleeing cruelty and danger at home instead found further cruelty to the north. We must restore humanity to our asylum policies and ensure that the families victimized by the deliberate and callous tactics of this administration are reunited.

Last week, I visited a detention facility in Maryland. I was saddened beyond words by my conversations with two fathers, Carlos and Mario, both of whom fled violence, sought asylum in the United States, and were separated from their children.

Both of these young fathers were in tears throughout our conversation, and remain deeply worried about their children. They both also told us that they have not had access to legal counsel.

As I write, the House of Representatives is between votes on two inhumane bills that were crafted in part by same White House officials who conceived of and implemented the family separation policy. I opposed both measures, and by the time you read this I will have voted against them.

I previously attempted to eliminate funding for the Trump family separation policy with an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, which was blocked by Republican leadership on the Rules Committee. I also joined over 100 Representatives on a letter to express opposition to family separation, to remove funding for the program, and to argue for alternatives that treat immigrant families and asylum-seekers more humanely.

Shortly after my discussion with Carlos and Mario I became an original cosponsor of the Keep Families Together Act, legislation which would formally end Donald Trump’s family separation policy. I intend to keep doing everything I can to shine a light on the monstrous actions of the Trump Administration, and to work with colleagues to stop them.

I want to offer my thanks for to everyone who has fought, marched, called, written, and offered to help push for basic decency. Let us keep working together to make this country what we all believe it should be.