The Battle to Stop Family Separation

This piece originally appeared at The New York Review of Books

In March 2017, John Kelly, then Secretary of Homeland Security, said in an interview with CNN that the Trump administration was considering a national policy to separate parents from their children to deter immigrants from crossing the border into the United States. The proposal triggered a backlash because it was so unpalatable, and the administration didn’t move forward with it. But six months later, in December 2017, The Washington Post and The New York Times reported that the administration was again considering the idea. At the same time, advocates who provide services to children in government custody told ACLU lawyers they were seeing children much younger than the teenagers they usually saw entering their facilities. As the stories began to multiply, the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project quickly realized that the administration wasn’t considering the separation of children from their parents—it was already doing it. 

For at least six months before then Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the zero-tolerance policy of prosecuting every adult who crossed into the United States without permission, which would result in more than 2,000 children being taken from their parents, the Department of Homeland Security had quietly began taking hundreds of children away from their parents to deter would-be asylum seekers from coming to the United States. 

We had no idea how many children had been taken from their parents, but we knew we needed to file a class action lawsuit to stop the practice. To do that, we needed to find the parents. In February 2018, we got a tip that there was a Congolese woman in an immigration detention in San Diego who said that her then six-year-old daughter had been taken from her when she entered the country three months earlier, in November. I lined up an asylum lawyer, a Lingala translator, and flew out to California immediately to meet with her. 

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Ms. Gloria Anasyrma

This is terrible, the Nazis would separate their prisoners too. Some went to slave labor and some went to the gas chamber.


Well they should have stay in there own countries. America is a nation of laws when you break them their is actions that is taken. People should stay in their own countries and fight for their families and their rights instead of running and putting their children in harms way. There is so many excuses that they make it is so sickening. They are leeches and runners. If they want asylum here what make anyone think that they would fight for AMERICA ? NOTHING. They just want to have five to ten anchor babies to be able to get food stamps and social services and not to be deported.


sis . They are leaving their homeland , a place they call home to go to a place they don’t know anything of to save their family . You don’t know what they have been through so you need to check yourself .


Illegal aliens/asylum seekers are bringing a child to help with their case so that they cannot be deported and be let in America. So when a child gets sick or dies it’s America government fault but not the father/ mother fault. Why is these? Place the blame on the fathers/mother because they are using the child on as shield so that they can be in America. Without these children the parents can be deported or place in detentions. That is so sad to be using your own children that way. These parents need to held accountable for their children death not border Patrol.


I wrote two comments did I hit a nerve. You said speak freely.

Justice for Kunta

It’s not just at the boarders that family separations are happening. There are none~Trump imposed family separations near the nations capital that is not cover the f media. The ACLU should also pay attention to all unjustified family separations at all places


If you are not a Mexican or from South America country they will not help you because you are American citizens. You can thank the illegal aliens for all the trouble in America because of them we have trump as president.


The AMERICAN SERVICE MEN/WOMEN are separated from their families what the difference? Oh I forgot they are brave men and women who fight for AMERICAN CITIZENS they don’t runaway unlike people from Mexico or South America who cannot fight their families they rather run. They don’t have the courage to stay fight for themselves or families. Just like the TSP,DREAMERS or expired VISA holders. It is easier to run to America. Asylum seekers and illegal aliens are a bunch of cowards why do we need them in America if they cannot fight for their own country ? They are poor uneducated people which the AMERICAN TAXPAYERS have to support them and the anchor babies that will start having when they get here. The parents are using their own children as human shield to get them into America so that they cannot be deported or place in detention. The father of the little girl that die didn’t go home because he was sacre that he cannot get back in to AMERICA what a jerk.


ACLU is censorship my comments because they hate true facts. This is what they are fighting for but it is not true they will censorship of it is what they not like.


I would donate to aclu but since you are going to take illegal aliens as clients I will put my money on the wall to keep them out.


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