Family Separation Update

July 24, 2018
By: 
Lacy Broemel, Refugee and Immigration Policy Advisor, The Office of Government Relations

In recent months under the Trump Administration's “zero-tolerance” policy, more than 2,000 immigrant children, including 103 children under the age of 5, have been separated from their parents. This policy has caused immediate harm and will likely have long-term emotional and psychological effects on those impacted.

A judge ordered the Administration to reunite all separated families by July 26, and many advocates and people of faith will be marking that day with actions around the country. Episcopalians, churches, and dioceses have been active on this issue through holding vigils, sending messages to elected officials, and more. We must be clear that all families should be reunited by July 26 and that family detention is not the solution to family separation.

Family separation is one part of a much larger effort that undermines the historic role of the U.S. as a place of welcome, including deterring asylum seekers, cutting the number of refugees admitted to the U.S., curtailing legal immigration, and expanding immigration detention and deportations. Because of these efforts, the already challenging legal pathways to immigration are even less accessible and transparent. The Episcopal Church stands for humane treatment of refugees and immigrants that keeps families together, honors due process, and offers pathways to citizenship for undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. At our 79th General Convention meeting in Austin this month, the Episcopal Church again passed resolutions confirming its commitment to walking alongside immigrants.