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Council Demands End to DHS Policy That Forcefully Separates Immigrant Children From Parents

June 18, 2018

Councilmember-At-Large Helena Moreno
NEW ORLEANS - As Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Federal Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen speak across town at the National Sheriffs convention, the City Council President and Vice-President's office filed a joint resolution for Thursday's full Council meeting demanding an end to the un-American and inhumane DHS policy of forcibly separating immigrant children from their parents.

"The Trump Administration is perpetrating a heartless violation of human rights right here in America," said City Council Vice-President Helena Moreno. "These innocent children are being terrorized in our name, and I simply won't stand for it. This evil must stop immediately, and these children must be reunited with their parents without delay."

The Trump policy, called "zero tolerance" by the Department of Homeland Security, states that "children whose parents are referred for prosecution will be placed with the Department of Health and Human Services," and explicitly lays out a series of "next steps" for parents to follow after their children are separated. The policy has been in place since at least early May of 2018 but has been contemplated by the Trump administration since 2017.

"I will continue to publicly condemn the Trump administration and Attorney General Jeff Sessions' enforcement of their new immigration policy to separate families," said Council President Jason Williams. "Forcibly separating children from parents as a matter of course is inhumane and unnecessary, and as an African American and a descendant of American slaves, this policy is evocative of some of darkest days in this countries young history. This policy is truly self-inflicted wound, and like many we have seen from the current administration, is antithetical to American values and basic humanity."

The resolution calls for an end to this policy and immediate reunification for those children separated. Copies will be sent to the entire Louisiana Congressional Delegation, the Attorney General, and the President.  

DHS officials report more than 1,995 children have been taken from their migrant parents at the border over a six week period. Many are being detained at warehouse facilities along the border.

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Contact:
Andrew Tuozzolo
Chief of Staff
Office of Councilmember-at-Large Helena Moreno
AVTuozzolo@nola.gov
(504) 281-9882

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