Media Blitz Part of Larger Effort Against Humanitarian Catastrophe Trump Created

June 27, 2018

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NEW YORK — After a federal court ordered the reunification of thousands of parents and children forcibly separated by the Trump administration, the American Civil Liberties Union launched a seven-figure national ad buy demanding Trump immediately reunite families separated by his administration’s policies, saying that the clock is ticking.

“Last night’s federal court ruling was an enormous victory, but this crisis is not over until thousands of children who were brutally and inhumanely separated are reunified with their parents,” said ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero.

The judge stated in the ACLU case “the government has no system in place to keep track of, provide effective communication with, and promptly produce alien children. The unfortunate reality is that under the present system migrant children are not accounted for with the same efficiency and accuracy as property.”

Moreover, the government has fought every effort to reunite separated families. In a submission prior to Tuesday’s ruling, “This Court should give the agencies time to take action, rather than issuing an injunctive order… Because the timeline for reunification proposed by Plaintiffs is not tied to any of the applicable law governing the release of putative class members or their children, it is arbitrary and Plaintiffs have shown no good reason why the Court should order such relief.”

Romero continued, “Given the fact that the government has dragged its feet throughout this entire crisis, we expect them to stonewall every effort to reunite the children with their families. That’s why we’re taking our message and our grassroots power to Brownsville, to marches around the country and to the airwaves: we must not let these children be without their parents any longer.”

The ACLU is keeping the heat on the administration to ensure children and parents are once again brought together. The Trump administration can’t hide from the stark truth that they created this crisis and it will not be solved until the families that have been torn apart are reunited and family separations and indefinite detention at the border come to a halt. The ad “Children Are Waiting” will begin airing tomorrow on MSNBC, CNN, and HGTV. A Spanish-language version will also air on Telemundo and Univision.

This ad buy is part of a larger advocacy effort that includes a mobilization, hosted with partner organizations, this Thursday, June 28, in Brownsville, Texas to confront the Trump administration's family separation policy at a courthouse where migrants are prosecuted, as part of the “zero tolerance” policy that has created a humanitarian crisis at the border.

Participants in the Brownsville action will stand in solidarity with immigrants being prosecuted, as well as those waiting for days or weeks to apply for asylum at nearby ports of entry; thousands detained without due process at ICE’s Port Isabel mega-jail; and children caged by Border Patrol in “freezers.” Local residents and community members with firsthand experience of family separation and detention will share their stories. 

On Saturday, June 30, the ACLU will join MoveOn, the National Domestic Workers Alliance, and other partners to cosponsor a nationwide call to action to keep pressure on the Trump administration to comply with the court’s order and stop separating families.

Those traveling to the rally from the McAllen Airport will see billboards in four locations. They are posted close to border patrol stations, U.S. Customs and Border Protection offices, and court houses in the McAllen area as well as by the Pharr International Bridge marking the border between the U.S and Mexico.

In addition to our legal actions and our work on the border, ACLU members have kept the pressure on Congress with almost 45,000 calls, pressing them not to implement a cruel and unnecessary immigration policy that trades on family separation.

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