The Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (IHCC) staunchly denounces the separation of children from their families at the border. This practice is cruel, inhumane and we demand that it be stopped and the necessary steps are taken to reunite these children with their parents immediately.
Since April, more than 2,300 children have been involuntarily separated from their parents at U.S. ports of entry as a result of the administration’s new “zero-tolerance” policy. According to the United Nations, separating children from their parents constitutes as government sanctioned child abuse. The AP reports that some of these children are toddlers younger than the age of 5, some of them non-verbal. Just this morning, the Detroit Free Press reported that two infants, ages 8 and 11 months old arrived in Grand Rapids in the middle of the night as part of a larger group of 50 children being placed in foster care.
These families have come to the United States seeking asylum from the violence in their home countries, and instead have been treated as criminals and shown disdain from government officials. We want to make it clear that a family would not be compelled to make the dangerous journey north with their children unless the choice to leave was a better prospect than staying.
The zero-tolerance policy is a choice being made by the current administration - a policy that they have the power to end at any time. We join our voice to those of other community organizations asking for change, and demand that our elected officials take action against this practice immediately.
HOW TO HELP:
Donate money, time or resources to civil rights groups providing legal support and counsel to the children and parents.
Contact your elected officials - This website from the ACLU will directly route your call to your senators office.
Make your voice heard - Participate in demonstrations against family separations such as the march being organized by civil rights groups in Chicago on Saturday, June 30th. RSVP here.